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Fri, 31 Dec 2004
Bring in the new year mtb style - 22:26
Anyway I am about to head over to Majura Pines to meet up with whoever else chooses to be there this year in order to see in the new year riding the mountain bike. Last year no one was overly keen on the champagne so today I grabbed a bottle of coopers pale ale to share around in plastic cups while out there listening to fire works and riding single track. This is obviously my last diary entry for the year too. Fun was had, and I am sure fun will be had next year too.
Thu, 30 Dec 2004
Pleasant long ride today - 22:45
Near the end of the ride I got a call and was told my car would not be ready as early as expected, the mechanic said the engine needs to be removed, and an axle or something, and something in the gear box needed fixing as well as the clutch. The unfortunate thing is Jane will still need to return the rental car on Monday and then somehow get back to Sydney, I will then also have to collect my car from Macksville (and get up there in he first place), oh well shit happens.
I just did some grocery shopping in Dickson by bike a few minutes ago, not too bad, though I still don't like locking any of my bikes up anywhere they could be stolen, I also bought just a little bit more than I can fit in my backpack so carried one bag with bread and fruit home too. I should probably do more shopping by bike anyway, it may force me to be more careful about not buying too much or impulse buying as I have to carry it all home in one backpack.
Anyway as usual, the Friday morning mtb ride tomorrow so I should head for bed.
Wed, 29 Dec 2004
Rise and fall of societies - 22:40
I am about half way through the Future Eaters and so far it is a good read, I suspect these books by Diamond are also if my sister and Gladwell are an indication. I suppose I should add more links the the post above, for now though bed beckons once more.
Tue, 28 Dec 2004
Back in Canberra - 22:14
My mother pointed out the car was covered by NRMA's premium cover, this entitled me to a rental car that would enable me to continue with whatever car usage plans I had until my own car worked again. As Jane's new years holiday plans place her up around Port Macquarie she will be able to take a detour and drop the rental car we were given off up there and get my car back once the work has been completed.
As for the rental car, I have just drive in back down to Canberra from Macksville today, 8 hours in the car. The car is a Ford Falcon Sedan automatic. A very different car to my Toyota Corolla 4wd Station Wagon. The good features are, new car (~ 9000 KM, compared to the ~ 295,000 of my car) and cruise control. I admit the cruise control was a joy for long highway stretches, I could set it and not have to worry about speeding accidentally or driving inconsistently and thus concentrate more on the traffic and conditions surrounding me. So the car was pleasant to drive, I must say however it enforces my wonder as to why anyone would buy a sedan. The damn things can't fit any gear, when there are perfectly good station wagons available the purchase of a sedan baffles me. I suppose this does bring out my reasoning for owning a car though, to me a car is simply a tool, a mechanism by which I can transport my bicycles (mtb and road) and occasionally skis or some other outdoor equipment.
Speaking of bikes, I have done hardly any riding (I had one of my mountain bikes up north with me, but did not do any big rides) in the last 4 days, something I intend to rectify in the next few days, time now for bed to further this plan for more riding.
Fri, 24 Dec 2004
Speakers announced - 13:34
Thu, 23 Dec 2004
Over designing standards - 22:55
Both these are relevant, both to standards design and simply to programming. Do not do premature design or try to design for features you imagine you may one day want to use. Extreme Programming though of course simply another selection of tools in the programmers toolbox (and not the second coming as some people seem to think) does have some good points. One of which is the avoidance of premature design or coding for "future" features. The ACAP standards yesterday struck me as over engineered for a few basic things to attach to IMAP, using my example of the need for an address book that is accessible with your email. If an email client was to implement an address book functionality in ACAP, it would still need to decide on the format of the address book data in ACAP, and other clients would need to implement this and agree on this also.
Anyway back to the subject of conferences, Rory was covering the XML conference in an amusing manner, and at one point for example paid quite a lot of attention to the shoes worn by a speaker. The shoes a speaker wears are obviously important and must be blogged or covered in some way at conferences. For linux.conf.au we will obviously need to ensure there is online coverage of what shoes speakers are wearing. Mikal will I am sure be keen to self nominate for this task of telling the world about the speakers shoes, even uploading some photographs of their shoes maybe. Lets hope the speakers understand and do not become too freaked out by this behaviour.
Wed, 22 Dec 2004
Why are you not a fish hatchery worker? - 21:29
It was a day like any other in 1987.
deserves to be read, I just have to remember to go read more of the stuff this guy has written now.
ACAP for data access appears difficult - 20:50
About two years ago when a vulnerability in the default implementation of ASN.1 was discovered, almost every appliance or library using it was found to be vulnerable. Although many important protocols (SSL, LDAP, SNMP, etc) use ASN.1 no one had bothered reimplementing it due to the huge size and complexity of the standard. The ACAP people say their protocol is supposed to fill "niche somewhere between a full-blown directory service, a file system, and specialised single-service protocol support".
I still think it is too complex, if you think about basic rss and how much it has taken off, there is no real formal protocol or XML dtd, or anything, rss is simple to implement on both client and server end and it tends to work using standard libraries and tools. I did a CPAN search for ACAP, there was nothing remotely usable available in CPAN to speak ACAP, nor was there a Debian library (apt-cache search acap) or something to make it easier. If you have an IMAP client already however, there are a bunch of vCard libraries in CPAN and Debian, the same applies for the other stuff (email with vCard mime attachments) in Bill's suggestion for an address book in IMAP.
The other thing is I have never seen any mention of ACAP support in a feature list for an email client. (though I have not looked explicitly for this)
RSS bandwidth usage - 19:10
Anyway Mikal wondered why the rss standard could not simply add a field suggesting blog update frequency to rss feeds. Ignoring for a moment that rss is a bit of a mess and not really standardised (with rfcs and other such stuff), this suggestion requires clients to implement it properly, and would require all the feed formats (rss 0.9, rss 1, rss 2, atom, etc) to have this sort of functionality. I generally do not trust clients to implement standards properly, and these are not even real standards.
I mentioned to Mikal a recent post I had seen somewhere like BoingBoing about how someone had implemented a nice way to cut off people gobbling too much bandwidth at the server side. A bit of a google search found the entry I recalled seeing. This keeps track of UserAgent/ip, and takes note of feeders that abuse the system (constantly re fetching data they already have, etc), to do this one would need to keep track of this data in some manner which is non trivial and can use memory or disk. Also of course people behind a corporate proxy or firewall and those on roaming proxy's such as AOL subscribers may have problems with this implementation. The implementation discussed only throttles the feeders that abuse (consume more bandwidth than they should) so people using better clients will not be hit.
I have to say I do not particularly like either of the above implementation suggestions, Mikal's suggestion due to the need for compliant implementations and the fact I don't think predicting your update frequency is worth the effort. The server side enforced limiting due to added load and complexity on the server side and due to the limitations of the method. There really is no way to solve this that I can think of that is likely to catch on. What really needs to happen is rsync in the http protocol (rproxy) needs to be adopted in http servers and http clients.
Address book storage in an IMAP folder - 17:52
Bill's suggestion though simple and not some sort of IMAP extension or anything, to me appears elegant and useful. Store address books in a folder in your IMAP mail storage area. I thought, that sounds neat, use some common format such as vcard attachments to emails. So the folder, could be called anything and store an email per vcard file. The email client could be told to use the IMAP folder named "whatever" to get its address book information. Now all we need is someone to write a thunderbird extension and a squirrelmail extension to do this and we will be set.
I did look around google a bit and glance through the IMAP rfcs and could not see that anyone had done anything similar yet, of course I may have missed it. David Gibson has talked about plans to make a better mail retrieval protocol than IMAP from time to time, to get around problems such as the need for tools like offlineimap (and may I note, how cool is it that this is hosted on gopher). David may have thought of some way to add useful information to his protocol, however nothing is implemented yet so who knows.
Tue, 21 Dec 2004
From around 1996 until April 2002 my email signature was the same few lines of text
Look Up In The Sky Is it a bird? No Is it a plane No Is it a small blue banana? YesWhich was deliberately obscure and strange, anyway I finally got around to changing my signature in April 2002 to the following Ani Difranco quote.
You are subtle as a window pane standing in my view but I will wait for it to rain so that I can see you Anticipate - AniWhich is as you can see the opening of the song Anticipate, I love the quote, and I like the double meaning of the song title by saying "Anticipate Ani".
Not long after Sam (Reinhardt) returned to work in January 2003 after time off following the birth of Maxine (notice the Righteous Baby t-shirt <g>), Sam suggested she was bored with my signature and that I should change it. Obviously not realising my previous tendency to keep an email signature for many years. Anyway I gave it some thought at the time and decided one thing I could do is go through all of Ani's lyrics from all her albums and select at least one quote from each song or poem. Using this I could have random signatures generated from the selection of quotes.
The idea behind this was to show how good Ani's lyrics are due to the fact there is some good quotable snippet from every one of her numerous songs. Anyway I extracted the quotes (in a format that is pretty trivial to parse) and since then have not used them in my signature. I guess for now Sam will just have to put up with the fact my signature doesn't change much.
I did however I think prove the point of the exercise. Though there are a few songs I did not collect quotes from, generally due to them being too short, I did collect quotes from almost all of the approximately 180 songs released by Ani since 1990.
Gladwell impact, though I still wonder about marketing. - 12:32
Cool/Intelligent people attract Cool/Intelligent people - 11:27
He is quite correct, this is one of the things that makes linux.conf.au such a fun and interesting conference to attend. A whole bunch of cool intelligent people rock up to speak at the conference and delegates attend because they can sit around and chat with these people (and hear them speak too, but to some extent that is secondary).
Mikal is not over analysing. - 10:52
I agree with Mikal that the lyrics in songs are important and can be a form of poetry, heck this is something I constantly point out with Ani Difranco lyrics, they are a form of poetry and worth reading in their own right. I guess I was not so much commenting on Brick, or Mikal's interpretation so much on how some fans may take analysis well beyond what artists ever saw in their own music.
Fri, 17 Dec 2004
Registrations - 21:43
When I phrased that differently recently, saying "all the call people coming to lca", Jeremy joked, they already know the organisers will be there, so they know who the cool people will be <g>.
Thu, 16 Dec 2004
P2P sharing extreme ironing in tight lycra. - 17:41
Anyone out there who has not seen extreme ironing should check it out. I saw the link on Metafilter recently, which reminded me of the activity. I first heard about it a while ago when Jim Trail (mtb friend and ex Triple J presenter) put it on his sports page at Triple J (that is the earliest occurrence I can easily find of the extreme ironing photo in the Way Back Machine copies of the page, if interested you can look for more)
Speaking of mountain biking (yeah so I don't want to make a separate diary entry in the mtb category for this), Michael Ellerman from ozlabs wrote a while back on how he thinks it is a pity so many cyclists wear lycra. Michael wonders if many people are put of cycling due to their perception that one needs to wear lycra to ride a bike. Personally I wear cycling clothing for pretty much any ride longer than my commute to work (2KM), I do this because I find it much more comfortable to ride in than other clothing, and it means my other clothing will not be sweaty and disgusting. However many people also find tight lycra off putting, this is why clothing companies such as GroundEffect and N-ZO exist and sell so much of their loose/baggy clothing. More comfortable to ride in than cotton shorts and t-shirt and you don't look like a cyclist. Unfortunately clothing to make cycling comfortable is still all pretty expensive.
Wed, 15 Dec 2004
Card games new to me. - 11:28
Spoons I believe I played last in 1993 sometime while at a YHA in Ireland. (a rather cool remote mountain lodge in Tipperary AFAIR), the way we played it was not entirely similar to the rules I linked to, it was however similar enough to see he basic premise. This is not so much a card game as it is a game of spoon watching. It can be entertaining, especially once you decide Rusty should be seated a few metres away so his numerous fake grabs for spoons are a little louder or more onerous or something.
The other game, Warlords and Scumbags was also rather entertaining, the way we played is pretty much as described in those rules. Once again Rusty was good at this game, the rest of us just had some fun. Oh and yeah I was going to mention that Lucy should update her blog just to increase the peer pressure Chris and others have been applying, however looking at the page I notice she already updated it.
Looking at Hugh's blog I notice he is talking about riding (and possibly buying) a greenspeed recumbent trike to make his commute to work more comfortable. Hugh wondered if the proximity to the ground with respect to less visibility from car windows would be a problem. Though it is a good idea to put a tall orange flag on the back of a trike such as this, an interesting thing to note is that often recumbents are more visible to traffic than traditional bikes due to being unusual.
Tue, 14 Dec 2004
Mon, 13 Dec 2004
Recumbent couch. - 11:47
Fri, 10 Dec 2004
Smart people working, may play dumb for telemarketers, probably will not wear redneck head coverings, and may see strange squirrel behaviour - 15:24
On receiving a phone call from a telemarketer this guy played dumb, definitely a good performance. It reminds me of something I have been told my father once did. When Mormons knocked on the door, he let them in, listened to them for about an hour, then said, Right my turn, and started explaining English literature ideals or something to them in great detail. The guy I link to above is someone named Paul Davidson, he has a book Consumer Joe: Harassing Corporate America that appears to be pretty cool, he wrote letters to American companies with weird or nonsensical requests and suggestions, and reprints 100 of the letters and the responses he received. Sounds amusing, I wonder if I should get a copy for my cousin Jackson. (Jackson once wrote to the Australian Prime Minister suggesting they get cop cars to be disguised as taxis just to see the sort of response he would get from the Prime Minister's office.)
I mentioned to Dave and Alex this morning that I saw this Common Redneck Head Coverings poster online yesterday. Apparently the US DoJ released some posters on "Common Muslim American Head Coverings" and "Common Sikh American Head Coverings" (source). So someone realised a red neck warning poster may be needed to give to shop keepers in South Asian Rural Areas.
One of the guys I ride with, Dave Morgan (Morgs) has a flatmate, Cath, who I swear must overdose on red cordial on a daily basis. Listening to her speak in an excited manner can be a mind altering experience at times. Anyway I saw this entry in a blog with the author discussing their interpretation of the thought patterns of a squirrel outside their office.
You can't see me! I'm brown and I'm flat. And so is this branch. I'll blend right into the branch and she won't even know I'm here. Never mind my two beady little eyes that she can feel staring at her or my huge orange bushy tail that I couldn't stop wiggling to save my life!!
If I did not know better I would swear Cath said that about squirrel thought patterns.
Thu, 09 Dec 2004
More cool print jobs, and talking about emus with Americans. - 11:59
Michael suggests one way to distinguish Australian's from Americans is to ask them to pronounce "emu". Is it just me or do the majority of conversations with Americans not present ample opportunity to talk about Emus? Of course it may be fun to work Emu's into every conversation with an American, after all what more fascinating topic is there but that of flightless Australian avian fauna. <g>
Wed, 08 Dec 2004
Tue, 07 Dec 2004
What other encylcopaedia is this up on pop culture. - 12:13
Chris, Rusty, and Martin got into the discussion (Martin links to some other perspectives on the WikiPedia discussions). Thinking about the "Can WikiPedia be trusted?" question is to some extent pointless in my opinion, it is just another information source, all sources should be checked and taken with some amount of salt when you use them (what you use them for will also allow you to choose how much you want to rely on any one or any collection of sources).
I do however think WikiPedia is fantastic! It evolves fast, corrections often appear with in minutes, sure it may have inaccuracies but there is also a lot of cool stuff there. WikiPedia already has a large entry on the 2004 US Presidential Elections heck it even has the 2004 Australian Federal Election which generated a lot less global media and public attention. That however is all quite boring and dry, WikiPedia also contains modern pop culture references, and I have to say, would any other encyclopaedia have an entry about the Underpants Gnomes.
Mon, 06 Dec 2004
I took the photos with Russ Baker's Cannon EOS 300 camera as I had left my Canon Powershot A60 at home, I must say, the EOS 300 is a damn fine camera, I was not able to sneak away with it without Russ noticing, alas.
Fri, 03 Dec 2004
Drive your bed or bathroom. - 17:49
Is it just me or does anyone else now want to drive a couch or bed to Sydney or some where. I wonder what sort of bicycle mounting mechanisms could be attached.
Speaker acks - 11:01
Thu, 02 Dec 2004
BCG does reviews. - 17:55
People wondering about the BCG thing may be enlightened somewhat by looking at one of Martin's old business cards, possibly not as much fun as Rusty's Kernel Hocker (instead of Hacker) cards at ltc, as BCG was deliberate rather than an accident.
Must remember to comment on this - 17:43
Preparing for an lca meeting tonight, and I have to fix a puncture on my mtb. A pinch flat gained, during the lunch time mtb ride, while trying to ride up a set of steps I have not previously ascended. I guess I need to practice, and remember these points.
Wed, 01 Dec 2004
Any point to these entries or some form of addiction? - 14:26
Full tour coverage! or how will I ever survive July? - 14:10
I shudder to think how I will live through July next year, I tend to watch maybe 1 hour of tv a fortnight most of the year. The exception is during July when, since 1992 (second year of Indurain's reign), I have avidly watched the Tour highlights package every day and in the past few years also watched the 2 or 3 live stages aired by SBS.
New mtb computer, new road rear light - 14:01
Anyway the computer has the option to set the odometer distance to whatever it was previously set to (say before a battery change or replacing a bike computer), I admit it is temping to reset it to 10,377 KM as my broken computer had hit, however it kind of feels like cheating, I feel I need to put in the hard yards and get the computer past 10,000 again the proper way, which is probably what I will do.
Tue, 30 Nov 2004
Bad movie variations - 11:32
My sister will probably love this site, Bad Movies containing as you can guess, reviews, with video and sound bytes and pictures of apocryphal movies. The complete list of reviewed movies is also there.
Mon, 29 Nov 2004
Fri, 26 Nov 2004
On the scary plush toys front, one can find plush toast or stranger yet plush toy tampons, both items and others on the site have eyes. I am sure all children want a plush toy tampon with eyes staring back at them...
2004 Triple Triathlon - 11:32
I enjoy doing all three bike legs in a team, in 2002 I did three bike legs in a team of 6 (thus in the team of 9 mixed category), last year I was in a team of three men. This year I again competed in a team of three, our team did pretty well, and had a fun day out there, finishing in 10h11m we were reasonably fast too. I have uploaded a report with photos from the day of our team and other competitors. Lots of fun for everyone involved, even the solo competitors out there for over 10 hours enjoy the race.
Thu, 25 Nov 2004
The theory of N+1 - 18:22
Cyclists understand the lust for new gear of the cycling type. The N+1 theory is based on this. At any given time the number of bikes you wish to own is N+1 where N is the number of bikes you currently own. Using myself as an example I own three bikes, one dual suspension mountain bike, one alloy hardtail (I specifically say alloy hardtail as I prefer steel as a frame material, however I bent my steel hardtail in a crash in January and due to good steel mtb frames being hard to find I have not replaced it yet) and a steel road bike (the one on the left upon which I am leaning).
Any member of the non cycling public will probably think three is far more than needed, any cyclist will understand why I obviously need many more than three. What I would like to do is get another good hardtail (ti) or (steel) frame, use that as my second mtb. Then build the black aluminium frame into a bastardised road bike (26" mtb wheels with thin slicks, drop bars, v-brakes, triple chainring with a 50 tooth big ring). The biggest problem is that the bastardised road bike would have an alloy frame, but hey it would still be useful, for long rides on unsurfaced roads in the middle of nowhere. (for which Richard has recently purchased a Surly Crosscheck frame built up as a touring bike. (making us all jealous)), so this bastardised road bike would be good to ride on road rides regularly as it is tougher and stops faster, though for long rides on bitumen or when I need to go fast, on the road, my road bike may still be preferable.
Of course there are other bikes I would like and use, such as a singlespeed (though by preference, put together from parts with an old steel frame picked up second hand), a longer travel more downhill style duallie so I can ride off things or down things without worrying so much about breaking the bike (though with a bike like that maybe I should worry about breaking myself more). This is of course just a few thoughts, being an avid cyclist I am sure I can think up more bikes I would want to own. Mal Bennett (owner of the Maladjusted bike shop in Canberra) for example has around 12 to 15 bikes at any given time, I suspect the only reason he owns a bike shop is to make his bike habit cheaper. Strangely all the new models of good bikes that come in, they come in in Mal's size first. Ahhh toys.
Wed, 24 Nov 2004
Seeing as it is my birthday today maybe I should not be at work until after 8pm, writing up my triple tri report and finishing some changes to code that imports data daily before the import tomorrow morning. I would implement the change a different way by choice but for now Bob requested it this way.
Tue, 23 Nov 2004
Break at 10,000 - 18:08
Anyway my previous mtb computer reset to zero KM when you hit 10,000 KM, which IMO is a stupid feature as I don't want to have my odometer read 0 every year or so. That computer also didn't handle wet weather too well so I bought the Enduro 8 as in theory it was tougher and more suited to mountain biking, it also had dual trip distance which is useful in navigation events where you pay attention to the distance to or from turns and other features on the map.
During the Triple Tri on Sunday I found I was unable to switch modes, the main button on the computer had failed. It appears mtb computers just don't like going past 10,000 on my bikes. The manufacturer has been kind enough to warranty this computer so I should receive a new one in a few days.
Don't let these people navigate - 17:41
Failure just outside warranty. - 13:14
Mon, 22 Nov 2004
More instructions - 21:51
Grow a beard or exercise, or something. - 18:06
So not everyone does as much exercise as I do, it makes me happy to see people realise how positive it can be though.
Heh, Shrub just cant get it right.
Ok so I may be posting stuff just to keep the November diary entry count up there, but I was amused by all of the above, or pleased, or whatever. I also notice I need to add more categories here, I am writing entries in the various category a lot.
Sat, 20 Nov 2004
Tricks of the trade - 21:58
This is kind of cool, such as
I wonder how many people tested this out on their heavy sleeping partners?
Or a particularly sneaky one that requires knowledge of the trick and some skill
Baldwin started a website collecting more of the tricks and adding new tricks daily. Of course as these may be based on urban legend or inaccurate information they should be taken with a grain of salt such as this tip for models and the accompanying link Baldwin put there pointing out the fallacy.
Time now for bed as I have to leave the house around 5:30am tomorrow in order to get to the start of the triple triathlon in which I am competing (mentioned previously).
Living in a purple world - 14:26
Fri, 19 Nov 2004
What to do with a domain? - 16:56
Bender is kind of new, it is related to mtb riding, In January this year I had a crash on my mtb and in the crash as well as writing off another helmet and acquiring some impressive scars (heck women dig scars don't they?) I bent my steel mtb frame beyond easy repair. From this point onward many of my mtb riding friends have called me Bender. I have lived up to this to some extent, on one of my mountain bikes I now have a bendy bender figure (the Futurama character).
My older nickname of Deve, Devo or Stevo the Devo has obvious origins, simply put it is one of the few nicknames that obviously rhymes or works with my name. My cousin Jackson, some of his friends and some of my cycling friends from around 1994 or 1995 were in the habit of using this nickname often. To some extent it may also amuse them due to the fact I probably do not display many deviant sort of behavioural quirks often.
Anyway the reason I bothered explaining all of this was for a while I wondered about getting the domain "thedevo.net" simply so I could send email to my cousin using the address "email@example.com". Eventually I thought what the heck, domains are USD $8 per year I may as well grab it. Now as the proud owner of thedevo.net I have absolutely no idea what else to do with another domain. Sure I can send Jackson some email, but I am sure the novelty will wear off after approximately 1 email. As it is I don't really use svana.org that much, in so far as I do everything I need or want to with it and have no time or inclination to do some big web site development or anything. So anyone have suggestions as to what I could do with the domain apart from leaving it as blank as it currently is?
Thu, 18 Nov 2004
Bug fix in cache_timestamps - 13:33
Jump the shark - 12:16
I googled for the term and found much to my surprise it has seen quite wide spread dispersion into Internet and even non Internet modern culture. Much to my surprise "Jump the Shark" has been in use for quite a long period.
Coined by Jon Hein at the University of Michigan back in the '80s, it refers to the moment when something -- particularly a TV series -- peaks and begins to go downhill into self-parody and decay. It originally referred to the "Happy Days" episode in which Fonzie literally tried to jump a shark in a daredevil water-skiing stunt.
It is easy to see this applied to many TV shows, however as the BoingBoing entry has done, it is now used outside fandom. Yet another secret inside joke that members of the correct Internet vernacular club will understand and be amused by.
Teenage hookups, empowering women or not? - 09:26
The comments by Danah and others on this entry fortunately go a bit deeper. The article implies the women really do not get as much out of this phenomenon as the guys, it does appear somewhat unbalanced from reading the article. Personally I did not even realise this sort of behaviour had arisen, it is interesting to read that a similar behavioural pattern was emerging in the USA before world war 2. There are obvious advantages, experimentation in emerging sexuality without emotional entanglement (thus being able to keep those things separate in your mind) and thus enabling more informed clearer minded evaluation of relationships and sexual behaviour as you grow older. However I can not get past how unbalanced the hookups seem to be in favour of the guys, it does not seem fair, of course some commentators pointed out that this is still in a male centric/focused society so it may indeed be an advancement viewed in certain contexts.
The article ends with a discussion of first base, etc which when you think about it brings a whole new and quite disturbing interpretation of the saying All your base are belong to us (AYB at Wikipedia)
Oh and on the subject of making blog posts from unusual places I am writing this while sitting in my GP's office awaiting an unexpected consultation after going in to find out what my HBA1C is after my last blood tests.
Wed, 17 Nov 2004
Almost live - 11:10
Tue, 16 Nov 2004
A few days ago I realised a blog I stumbled across about two weeks previously belongs to Danah of the Ani Difranco Lyrics web site. Damn does this person rock. In my view this is one of the most useful resources online, simply because all my Ani albums are at home, if I want to read some Ani lyrics and I am not at home this site solves the problem. True to most people this may not be such an important feature of a website, but hey all of those who know me know I tend to be somewhat a fan of Ani's work. (and if you do not know me I am surprised you are even reading this <g>)
I am impressed to learn that Danah has been keeping an online diary or blog for 7 years, that is an eternity in the "blogsphere" (yeah I don't like that term), possibly even longer than Alan Cox (in Welsh now days so read the English translation if you find the Welsh challenging) has been maintaining his. Danah suggests in one entry that we should check in with our families from time to time, so I looked up from the laptop, waved, noticed they were discussing Australian Idol (it was on Rove at the time) so I checked out immediately.
From what weird places do you blog? - 18:57
I ordered Indian at the Blue Elephant restaurant in Braddon, I admit that though I enjoy Indian, I do not know of any really good Indian restaurants in Canberra, I hope this will be a positive dining experience, anyone have other suggestions in case it isn't? Heck I know more good places to eat in Sydney and I didn't even like living in Sydney.
Genealogy of ideas - 10:53
In reality the article is mostly about a case of a playwright using quotes from an older Gladwell article and not acknowledging the source publicly. However it does present some interesting viewpoints. Everyone when thinking of new stuff builds on prior knowledge, this is why we have libraries and why we read and learn in the first place.
Mon, 15 Nov 2004
Fri, 12 Nov 2004
TV Nation and perceptions of charisma - 12:22
There may be something in this theory, perception of charisma by the voting public, encouraged by TV. Michael Moore suggested in his book Dude, Where's My Country? that Oprah would make a good presidential candidate. Some polls appear to support this notion strongly. Interestingly I also note two recent popular TV or Movie presidents, Jed Bartlett in The West Wing played by Martin Sheen and Andrew Shepherd in The American President played by Michael Douglas both fit the charismatic persona well and have proven popular with the US viewing public.
I wonder, does the Democratic party simply need to find their own presidential version of Robin Williams?
Thu, 11 Nov 2004
I missed Pratchett - 09:08
Wed, 10 Nov 2004
Print me a cpu - 14:26
Some schools have good cafeteria foodA times article about a secondary school in France in which the cafeteria food is cooked by a top flight chef sounds good. Apparently the chef who has previously worked in some of France's more prestigious restaurants decided he preferred working in the school environment and so far has been quite successful in convincing students to eat real food rather than MacDonald's or similar.
Why wouldn't we all be somewhat jealous of the students, cheap good food at school. At the university I work the university union provided food is easily defined by two parameters. 1. Usually low quality/unappetising and 2. Expensive. There are fortunately exceptions, such as the Purple Pickle, though it is not a union supported cafe. The University union in theory can operate their eateries cheaper due to lower rent and other overheads all of which are provided by the University, they also supposedly should provide cheaper food for the students than they are able to purchase from eateries in the nearby city centre or other nearby shops. Neither of these are true.
Bible belt divorceJulis Schorzman in his blog brought to my attention the divorce rate statistics from the last US census. He points out a Boston Globe item "that shows the hypocrisy of the Bible Belt lecturing the rest of the country about the sanctity of marriage.", I am not particularly surprised to see this data, Bible belt residents often do not appear to have a good understanding of reality.
Software patents, branding and broken revenue models - 12:12
Tue, 09 Nov 2004
The red vs blue videos available online and in other places are a a different take on "red vs blue". These videos are recordings of the game Halo with commentary added by the creators of the videos. Many people find the videos amusing, I wonder in what way we can attribute these qualities to the recent US election with all the talk of "red vs blue".
Mon, 08 Nov 2004
Fri, 05 Nov 2004
This could be a mud fest - 11:51
Thu, 04 Nov 2004
Small delay in some programme data - 22:42
A press release with conference registration opening and our list of invited speakers may be a god thing soon, simply to get the word out there about the conference a bit more. There is one group of people running a conference in Australia soon claiming to be running the first "Open Source Developer's Conference", personally my view is they are smaller and focused differently to lca. However some lca crew members and various other people expressed some concern about claims along the lines of "first", considering CALU was held in Melbourne in 1999 they may have a point.
Wed, 03 Nov 2004
Frodo shaves like a man - 18:16
The article I linked to today and yesterday authored by Malcolm Gladwell is from an archive of articles by this author I intended to read. I found a link to his archive of articles a few weeks ago and many of them promised to be interesting. The reason I correlated the article, author and archive link in my head is I read another article by Gladwell, this on perception of trauma in modern society by individuals.
10 things the Chinese do better - 16:29
Safety, computer security and mountain bike skills - 12:49
In relation to safety and security in general and in the computer world, the quote "what has happened to the automobile world: feeling safe has become more important than actually being safe." applies far more widely today than simply in the car industry. Bruce Schneier has often spoken on how the perception of good security is far more important today than actually being secure and that the two goals are too often disparate.
(small cars) ... are safe because they make their drivers feel unsafe. S.U.V.s are unsafe because they make their drivers feel safe. That feeling of safety isn't the solution; it's the problem.There are many more quotes in this article that tie in well to the safety in society in general angle, I suggest reading the article.
As for a mountain bike tie in, the article brings up issues about good control of a car making you safer which can definitely be tied into riding and mountain biking.
Safety, for most automotive consumers, has to do with the notion that they aren't in complete control," Popiel says. "There are unexpected events that at any moment in time can come out and impact them--an oil patch up ahead, an eighteen-wheeler turning over, something falling down. People feel that the elements of the world out of their control are the ones that are going to cause them distress."In mountain bike riding the more familiar with the bike, the trail and with riding and bike handling in general the less likely you are to crash or have problems of a similar nature and the more able you are to navigate the unknown.
We live in an age, after all, that is strangely fixated on the idea of helplessness: we're fascinated by hurricanes and terrorist acts and epidemics like sars--situations in which we feel powerless to affect our own destiny. In fact, the risks posed to life and limb by forces outside our control are dwarfed by the factors we can control. Our fixation with helplessness distorts our perceptions of risk.Injuries happen when riding a mountain bike, in reality you are participating in a high risk sport, when involved in an accident it may simply be bad luck, or attempting something you do not have sufficient skill to ride. If you hurt yourself, too bad. Land managers are worried about letting people ride on their land, especially if there are challenging/technical obstacles available on the land. If someone injures themselves riding on the obstacles, the land managers are fearful of being sued by an injured rider unable to take personal responsibility that it was their choice to attempt the obstacle.
Our fixation with helplessness distorts our perceptions of risk. "When you feel safe, you can be passive," Rapaille says of the fundamental appeal of the S.U.V. "Safe means I can sleep. I can give up control. I can relax. I can take off my shoes. I can listen to music."I can not imagine how anyone could feel relaxed driving a car. I have commented on this previously, I find driving mentally draining and not an enjoyable activity. I am after all in control of a 1 or 2 tonne chunk of metal moving at non trivial speeds. If I am relaxed about this scenario I would wonder if I should really be allowed to drive.
If people going through their mid life crisis are likely to become safer road users, or even take up mountain biking, more power to them and bring on the mid life crisis.
Tue, 02 Nov 2004
Car executives amazed that anyone would buy a SUV - 21:05
About how the SUV is so popular and incredibly unsafe to drive, yet people's perceptions say otherwise and thus they sell well, strange and scary yet kind of amusing.
According to Bradsher, internal industry market research concluded that S.U.V.s tend to be bought by people who are insecure, vain, self-centered, and self-absorbed, who are frequently nervous about their marriages, and who lack confidence in their driving skills.and
That you can look down is psychologically a very powerful notion. And what was the key element of safety when you were a child? It was that your mother fed you, and there was warm liquid. That's why cupholders are absolutely crucial for safety. If there is a car that has no cupholder, it is not safe. If I can put my coffee there, if I can have my food, if everything is round, if it's soft, and if I'm high, then I feel safe.
Mon, 01 Nov 2004
With daylight saving changing between the 30th and 31st I was effectively waking up at body clock time of 3am (4am in new daylight saving adjusted time) in order to get to Tharwa by 5am for preparation and ride briefing and a 6am start. I gave Terry a lift out and we arrived by 5am, seemingly half an hour earlier than we really needed to as no one else was there yet and the ride officials were only just setting up.
We registered at about 5:50am, then while getting my bike out of the car I could not find my helmet and realised to my horror I had left it hanging on the handle bars of one of my mountain bikes in my shed at home. Every one else started the epic at 6am, at the time I was driving home to get my helmet. Finally back in Tharwa in time to start riding by 6:50am I got going. With a 50 minute deficit and likely to be riding alone (thus unable to draft others in the pack) I was pretty sure I would be unable to catch any of my friends.
I settled in to the ride with the goal of finishing before the 18:30 cut off time (which would be a little bit more difficult to do now, due to the late start and not riding in a pack). Mikey had mentioned the climb of Fitz was about 3.2 KM, this is longer than Black Mountain (2.8KM) and steeper (notably it is also consistently up hill with no places to rest, unlike the road climb of Black Mountain) so I decided to time myself on the climb, I tend to do Black Mountain at a comfortable sort of pace in around 12 minutes. By the summit of Fitz the climb had taken me 15 minutes, which I think was pretty reasonable.
I finally saw the front riders coming the other way just as I passed the turn off to Ororral valley, I was still heading to Rendevouz creek at the time and they were on the way back about to turn up to Ororral. As I passed the campsite near Glendale crossing Mikey, Terry, Allan, Neil and Chris passed in the other direction, this was the bunch I would have ridden with all day if I had started with them.
I reached the Rendevouz creek check point at around 08:15am which was pretty good time for the 30 KM out to that point (mostly up hill). I had some insulin, a muesli bar and a baked potato and headed back down toward Ororral. The lead riders on the Fitz Challenge appeared on their way to Rendevouz creek shortly after I started the descent to Glendale crossing. On the way to the Ororral turn off I saw a lot of people I knew who were riding in the Challenge (Sue Kleven, Cath Toet, Jim Trail, Kate Roper, Andrew Thomas, etc). Early on the climb up to Ororral Mikey and co passed in the other direction again, it appeared I had gained about 10 minutes and was only around 40 minutes behind now. This gap stayed pretty much constant for the rest of the day after this.
When I arrived at Ororral I caught up to another Epic rider and left before he did, I was most pleased to have passed someone finally. Then I passed a couple riding the Epic together just before turning back onto the main road from the Ororral road. Once on the road with the rest of the Fitz riders I was surrounded by many other riders for the first time that day, unfortunately they were a this point all a bit slower than me, the riders of similar speed to me would have already passed on their way back down to Tharwa at this point. So I chatted to people as I passed them, after the descent down Fitz hill there was the pleasantly fast section along to the Apollo road turn off to take me up to Honey Suckle Creek. I had predicted this would be the toughest climb of the day, largely due to the fact it is the toughest bitumen climb in the ACT. I was not dissapointed, I was able to ride all the way up, though I did stop for a minute or two an chat to two guys, one of whom was pulling the plug there and returning to Tharwa, the other who intended to finish this climb and pull out upon his return to Tharwa. Mikey and crew passed at speed descending just after I crossed the gate into Namadgi (the national park).
The marshals at the top of Honey Suckle asked me if I wanted sun cream, which was good as I had forgotten to apply any at the previous two checkpoints and didn't feel like stopping to put any of the cream I was carrying on. I had some more food and turned around for the incredibly long descent back down Apollo road. Once I got back on the road to Tharwa no one else was around, so all the Challenge riders had already passed by then, I battled the head wind back to Tharwa by myself. I stopped at Tharwa for a while for food, sports drink, toilet, dumping gear I wouldn't need from my backpack. As I rode out I saw Allan there, he had pulled out of the Epic with bad back pain. Ben Crabb was also there having finished the 90KM ride (Tharwa Challenge). I got moving again and headed on out towards Cotter. There was a headwind all the way through the Tidbinbilla valley and I slowly started to pass one or two Challenge riders, and waved at all the people I knew on the return leg of the Challenge. I saw the lead riders in the Epic turn Corin road as I passed there.
As I arrived at Cotter I spotted Mikey and crew at the food/water refill point at Cotter, so I stopped and chatted, I was now only the climb of Mt McDonald behind them, however due to my slow speed at this point that was still 40 minutes back. I rode up Mt McDonald, got to the checkpoint, grabbed food and water, turned around and finally found the joy of the tail wind. This wind assist made the ascent back to the top of Mt McDonald fast and easy. Refilled with sports drink at Cotter and headed up Pierces, this was bound to be a tough climb, 1KM all constant, steep uphill. Possibly harder (though much shorter) than the Corin climb was going to be later. I made it up all the way, standing up to climb it all, and headed on towards Corin.
When I got to Corin I thought to myself, sure I am in pain and I don't know if I am enjoying myself right now, but I have come this far so I may as well turn right and do the climb up to the summit of Corin. So I did. Neil passed me near the start of the climb, obviously he had tired of riding as slowly as the others and got a jump on them. In that final climb and ride to Tharwa he gained over half an hour on Mikey and crew, who passed me about 25 minutes later half way up the climb. On the final steep section of the climb I did something I have never done before, I walked up a hill with the road bike, The Corin climb is one I can usually do at around 14-16 Kmh all the way up, this time I was reduced to 7-8 Kmh while riding, stopping a few times to stretch and then walking the final section.
Upon reaching the checkpoint I was really suffering and thinking to myself I may pull out once I reach the bottom of the descent rather than riding the remaining distance to Tharwa. I had noticed a problem with clipping in and out of my right pedal for the previous hour or two so stopped at the checkpoint to look at the bottom of my shoe. I found the cleat loose and twisted sideways a bit, fortunately I had not lost either of the screws as had happened in the 24 Hour race three weeks previously. I fixed the cleat angle and tightened both screws, had some more food and got moving.
The final descent of Corin and the discovery that it was only 13 KM not 17 KM to Tharwa from the base of Corin had me feeling better so I decided to finish the ride, and I was still likely to make it in under the time limit. I got to Tharwa at 18:18, 12 minutes before cut off and pretty well under if you consider the 50 minute deficit. Anyway it was a tough day in the saddle, probably good for me in the end, and I admit I did enjoy a lot of the event. Ride time was around 9 hours 20 minutes with 207 KM ridden. This has however strengthened my resolve to get a triple chain ring on the road bike as I really do not like climbing standing up yet I persist in doing these silly long difficult road rides (this and the SLER (Silly Long Easter Ride, 333KM if you can finish it) being prime examples).
Broken Bits and Bacon - 14:21
Then during the Bacon ride on Saturday morning at on point I was suddenly able to bring the front brake lever all the way into the bars (hydraulic discs) accompanied by a metallic screeching sound. Stopping to look at it I discovered the pad material had come unstuck from the backing plate in one of the pads in the front brake. I had not heard of this happening before, however Peter Gunther (who builds Ethos bikes) was out there at the time and was not so surprised. When I took the bike to Mals this morning the distributor of EBC pads did not seem surprised either, the brakes work again with the warranty replacement pads.
After the Bacon ride Dave Sutton and myself were the only two to continue the grand Bacon tradition of eating Bacon and stuff at a cafe post ride with a visit to the Central Cafe in Queanbeyan. The Central Cafe serves mammoth portions and chips with everything you order (I suspect they serve chips with fruit salad, I have not been game to find out if this suspicion is true yet).
Fun was had.
Thu, 28 Oct 2004
Cache Time stamps - 18:44
I complained once or twice a while back about time stamp handling in blosxom. My complaints were centred around relying on the timestamp on the file system to work out he date of an entry and the order of all the entries. There are already some plugins that get around this in some manner, such as entries_index by the blosxom author, and entries_index_tagged (not available from the link there, google can find it).
The entries_index plugin keeps a cache of the time stamps of diary entries and uses the time stamps in the cache by preference. It adds time stamps for new files as they are found. This way if the time stamps change at a later date due to an edit or similar the cache retains the old time stamp.
The entries_index_tagged does the same as entries_index and takes it a step further. It allows you to have time stamps in some format in the diary entry header area. Read the code/docs if you want to know the details.
I wanted the capabilities of entries_index_tagged, with a slightly different way to read time stamps from the entries, also using the same format cache as the two already written. This way like entries_index_tagged if the cache is deleted it will still use the saved time stamps in the files rather than the system time stamps when it finds time stamps in the files. The reason I wanted a different format was I had already been adding time stamps to my diary entries since September as an html commented time stamp on the second line of the file (after the heading). For example <!-- 2004-10-28 19:56:32 -->. Also a few people suggested it would be cool if the plugin had the option to add such a tag to the entries if there was not one using the file system time stamp the first time it sees the file.
So I wrote the module, it works fine for all but adding the time stamps to the entries. The problem here is you need write access to the entries in order to add text to them. Also even with write access the utime(2) system call can not change the time stamp back to what it should be after editing the file unless you also own the file.
Anyway I ended up writing a small helper program that could theoretically be run from cron or similar as the owner to add the files time stamps and reset the mtime. This means you have the functionality even if you do not give write access to your diary entries by the web server uid.
With the add time stamps capability you can rely on the first time stamp being added so even if the file system time stamps get messed up at some point all files will have a time stamp and you need not remember to add one to each entry.
That lost feeling of being disconnected - 14:39
Upon returning from lunch I found I was unable to connect to calyx (svana.org), I rang the Co-location people and they said they had some problem with router upgrades (un announced and un scheduled) and noticed the route to the colocated machines was not working. It is now back up, however for a little while I felt all lost and alone, unable to receive email or any of that. Maybe I am too dependant on connectivity, time to go to an IA meeting. <g>
Wed, 27 Oct 2004
Unable to grok %indexes - 14:17
One of the plugins which creates a new entries sub routine is supposed to return %files and %indexes. Looking at the example code of existing blosxom plugins it is easy enough to work out what %files does, however %indexes is beyond me. Fortunately it is only used with static rendering, so I guess I can just leave a bug in the plugin that it will not work with static rendering.
The documentation for plugin developers is not too helpful, all it says is "The subroutine should return references to a hash of files and another of indexes to be built (in the case of static rendering)." and "When run, the subroutine returns references to the files it found and indexes to be constructed when building statically"
I could of course read the blosxom source (only 444 lines) to work it out, though I do not know if I care enough currently, I don't intend to statically render my blog and this is to scratch my own blog itch.
Tue, 26 Oct 2004
Event season is upon us once more. - 11:34
My schedule for the next 4 weekends in a row is as follows.
Mon, 25 Oct 2004
Which doctor? - 15:00
Which pleased me as Tom Baker was and is my favourite Dr Who, however I begin to wonder if, knowing what the aim of the quiz was, did I answer questions (whether consciously or sub consciously) with the aim of this outcome. Anyone else try, or have thoughts on this sort of outcome with quizzes such as this?
Hacking code anywhere - 14:03
Some jobs like for example being an astronaut you can only do in special places like in for example space rockets or outer space or somewhere like that eg the moon. If you were trying to be an astronaut in the supermarket people would just laugh at you and say What Is He Doing Is He Absolutely Barking Mad Or What?Interestingly free software hackers have a similar freedom, more so than those working on proprietary software. Developers working on proprietary software may often be encumbered by limitations on the source code being allowed out of the carefully controlled environments with in the company network/buildings. For free software developers you can hack anywhere, it can be argued you do not even need a computer and network and power to work as you can develop your ideas alone or in discussions in the pub or anywhere else. Being a writer or being a free software developer, you can express yourself creatively just about anywhere.
This all brings to mind the Dr. Seuss story "Green Eggs and Ham".
Would you like them in a house? Would you like them with a mouse? ... Would you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox?
It's official - the Platypus is weird. - 09:25
Thu, 21 Oct 2004
Minutes online wihin 20 minutes of the meeting close. - 20:52
In other news, in what could possibly be a record we got through the business for tonight in 1 hour and 1 minute.
Thu, 07 Oct 2004
Minutes and copious action items. - 21:17
Wed, 06 Oct 2004
Solo Circulation - 23:49
Tonight I had my friend Prue visit who will be supporting me during the race. Preparing food, mixing sports drink, handling charging of light batteries and various other Sundry tasks. Prue seems keen though somewhat intimidated once she realised the size of the event. With around 5000 people at the race site during the start on Saturday, 2176 riders competing in the race, 524 teams, almost 100 of which are solo entrants this is a big event.
Last year over 7,000 laps were completed of a 17 KM course, the distance ridden collectively was over 111,000 KM, or almost three times the circumference of the Earth. The course this year is 19KM to allow for the increase in team numbers from 440 to 520, the stats will go up a bit due to this.
I guess I am rambling to some extent because I do wonder what I have gotten myself into. This race is a lot of fun, I hope it is still fun, though knowing me I will still have fun, I simply tend to redefine my definition of the term fun from time to time.
Hoping the timing works out - 23:41
Other aspects of the program can still be varied, we are considering running some sessions until 6pm, or possibly some lighting talks or poster sessions while other sessions are on. Brad Hards has been thinking of a whole lot of different variations and the pros and cons for a long time now so it will be fun to see what we decide to do when the conference rolls around.
More riding to work - 12:34
Chris commented that for most people it really would be slower by bike rather than car. As an example he suggested someone living in Belconnen and working in the Parliamentary triangle would be hard pressed to take longer by car for the commute to work. He is correct, however just to be sure I spoke with a cycling friend about it to get some figures. Julie Quinn I should admit is not entirely average, being a world champion in Rogaining and a multiple winner of of the Polaris Challenge and the Urban Polaris, among many other achievements. However Julie rides to work at a slow easy pace, the sort of pace mere mortals like the rest of us can maintain. Anyway the commute from Macquarie to the Parliamentary triangle takes Julie about 30 minutes at this easy pace. If she includes her shower and getting changed and settled at her desk it is 50 minutes from the door at home to sitting a the desk. Admittedly in Canberra traffic if it is not peak time, the drive to work is 15 or 20 minutes for Julie. Shower wise many people will need a shower in the morning anyway, so it may not be entirely fair to factor shower time into a bike commute time. Julie can probably do the commute to work in around 20 minutes bike bike if she really needs to. Just as I can commute from home to the Woden hospital by bike in 20 minutes if I really need to.
Anyway Canberra is a bit of a special case as we have light traffic, which makes bike riding more pleasant, however it also allows cars to get places faster and means there i not such a large parking penalty near work places. Due to this I got some feedback from friends in Sydney as to their commuting details. Again both of them are cyclists and it should be taken into account that they both love riding bicycles. John Stevenson works for Cyclingnews and has in the past 20 or 30 years worked for various bike magazines, and bike shops and other such places in the industry in Australia and the UK. Dave Hughes who I also asked for some data is also heavily into cycling and has done 24 hour races solo and other such things.
It will be easiest to simply quote what John and Dave said to me directly.
My run is 26.5km. I've done 57:30, door to door for the inbound and a shade under an hour for the run home. Typically more like 1:05 each way. Interestingly as I have gotten fitter recently the difference has reduced, which says something about the effect of hills on commute times, as it's the homeward run that's gotten quicker.Dave Hughes.
In:So yeah in Canberra lack of traffic can make the bike commute less effective, though I suspect more enjoyable due to not having to fight the traffic so much, and having many options to travel on bike paths or even off road to and from work. Sydney evens the times a bit between car and bike, and even with very good public transport it can be difficult time wise. In Sydney one technique that is fairly effective is riding from home to a train station, getting a train, and riding from the other end to the office. This gives a shorter time and part of the trip by bike. Canberra does not have effective public transport so that would never be an option.
Fri, 01 Oct 2004
Drug testing not open enough? - 18:40
When the news first hit Cyclingnews carried some of the details, in particular this paragraph.
Tyler Hamilton's case is the first ever positive for a blood transfusion, as up until very recently, doping via this method has been undetectable. A powerful blood test developed by Australian researchers was implemented at this year's Tour de France. The test didn't look for a particular banned substance, but instead examined whether there were any abnormalities in a person's blood as a result of artificial manipulation. At the Tour, it was announced that homologous blood transfusions could be detected, but autologous transfusions could not.
Of note is that it is a recently developed test and this is the first time anyone has ever been caught with this test. That would not be so bad, however it appears there may indeed be serious problems with this test. Cyclingnews spoke with Dr Michael Ashenden (this interview also contains a good glossary of terms on the issue). In this interview the Dr was very closed about some details of the test. Today some researchers and specialists in the field commented (search for the letters "The new blood test #1", "The new blood test #2", "The new blood test #4" and The new blood test #5) in the Cyclingnews letters columns.
First it is interesting to note "Clinical trials for a diagnostic product used in a hospital require 10-20,000 repetitions for approval", however if the papers on this method are to be believed this test has only been performed on a sample of 45 people known to have had transfusions and it was not tested on people known not to have had transfusions. Thus there is no knowledge of the possible false positive rate. (the letters I reference above discuss this much better than I). A noteworthy quote from one of the letters.
...in cyclingnews.com attributed to Dr Ashenden of "Science and Industry Against Blood Doping".
I comment on all of this to a large extent as it appears the information about the test is being kept secret and that is in itself damaging the entire process. This whole episode reeks of what computer people call Security by Obscurity, and as we all know that really never works in the long run.
Thu, 30 Sep 2004
Creative process of design - 18:06
Quoting from the entry
I just have to let the ideas percolate until my subconscious orders them, filtering it all into something better. This is how I've always done design, it just happens that Bradbury uncovered the mechanics of it for me. Forced design is why a lot of software is bad, that and all the compromise added to it. Well, there are probably other reasons commercial software sucks, like honesty and integrity, but that's not the point.
Wed, 29 Sep 2004
More injured Bilbys - 13:25
Update: I talked to Ron soon after I posted this entry. His shoulder popped back in before he got to the hospital, which is good. However there is some tearing in ligaments and tendons plus some strained muscles so he is out of action on the bike for around 3 weeks, and out of swimming for a bit longer. Ron mentioned it doesn't hurt at all while sitting or lying down now, and hurts a bit when standing due to the sling on his sore neck muscles.
Update: I also never said what happened to Gary Rolfe. Gary's Radius was shattered in three places, his wrist was pulled off the ulna a bit also. So tendon and ligament damage, they had to shove it all back together and then pin the radius up with a few pins (operation). The doctors considered him lucky not to have broken the Ulna, also they commented his bones were in very good shape on the whole. Probably in large part due to being incredibly fit and a healthy diet with good calcium intake. Gary got a new cast made of fiberglass on friday as the swelling had gone down enough. The cast probably comes off in about 8 weeks.
Both Gary and Ron are busting to get out training again soon as you can imagine.
More on the Linux v Sun discussion - 11:25
Miguel commented about Greg rejecting the Sun guys API stability arguments. I don't know that he rejected them so much as pointed out that that the API is stable in the kernel <-> userspace interface and has been for many years. Kind of like GTK or Mono or something having published API's and having internal structures. There is not much software if any that needs to use internal structures and such with those libraries. In the kernel though if someone has out of tree kernel code it has to keep up with the kernel internal structures. Andrew Morton has talked about this issue at OLS this year as have various other people, code that gets into the kernel will be maintained.
Of course the trick then is getting your code into the kernel, to do this you really need to grok Linux kernel culture and work with it. Mikal pointed out there seem to be exceptions where Linus or others appear arbitrary. Such as FUSE which Mikal suggests wont get into the kernel as Linus thinks it is too close to a Microkernel model. Personally I would hope there are good technical reasons FUSE has not been accepted rather than simply saying all file systems should be implemented entirely in kernel space (after all do we really want GMailFS in kernel space?) Of course Linus is only human (unlike Alan (more Linus quotes)) and has been known to allow code into the kernel in a strange manner in the past. Such as when Dave Miller got the bottom halves stuff in a few years ago. (anyone got a link to something about this I wonder?)
Tue, 28 Sep 2004
Bouncing Cows - 18:34
Oh also Chris is right when he says "I estimate he puts more kilometres on his bike than I do on my car. I've driven about 26,000km over the last four years" about me. I tend to do around 10,000km a year on the mtb and around 8,000km a year on my road bike. However I do agree this is a significant amount when you consider almost none of it is commuting (my commute is 1.5km each way) I have some other stuff to respond to Chris' post once more but I am waiting for some stats from friends in Sydney to include them tomorrow sometime.
Mon, 27 Sep 2004
Reasons to ride bikes - 18:54
Chris did note that people will always make time for things they are truly interested in. Which is good, and correct, also I have to remind myself often that the majority of people are not as interested in Cycling as I am. I may take it to extremes (doing a few climbs of black mountain this evening and having a ball doing so) but there are some things about bicycle commuting that Chris didn't mention.
The two big ones are it can often be faster, especially at heavy traffic times, and the other point is it is less stressful than driving a car. To explain why it is often faster. Any commute that takes less than half an hour generally will not make you sweat excessively so you may get away without showering at the end of the commute. You also need not hunt around for parking spots or similar and have to walk from the car to work as bicycles will generally be stored in your office building somewhere.
The above is not really that helpful as it does come down to making time for something you really enjoy to a large extent. The big win for bike commuting I find is it is far less stressful and it wakes you up. Personally I find driving sucks, especially in traffic. However for me cycling lets me loosen up mentally and physically and gets my mind and body working, siting in a car driving somewhere just aggravates and annoys me. To some extent this has to do with mind set, however I find if I have not had a good ride (well exercise) in the morning I am not as alert and ready for work as otherwise.
First as Chris noticed it is not exactly recent and new information.
John Stevenson (from CyclingNews and previously in many other bike industry positions here and in the UK for a long time pointed out this.
>http://thirdrate.com/misc/krypto.mov Gee a movie of a lock design defect that was known about ten years ago: http://groups.google.co.uk/...... That it's still possible to buy u-locks with this gaping design flaw *ten years* after it was first revealed just indicates how serious some lock companies really are about the quality of their products. I was taught that trick (and several others) by a bloke who'd found himself living on a Nottingham council estate full of petty crooks and been taught by them in turn. The bottom line is that there are several attacks that will open most inexpensive u-locks. If you want something serious, spend big and make sure it says 'Trelock' or 'Abus' on it. Just about every lock marketed at cyclists is a toy.
Kryptonite does alas fall into the toy category. And apparently there are movies on that site and others for opening the other key whole types on most common locks. Including the new modified straight key Kryptonite are now marketing.
As seen on SingleTrackWorld, Kryptonite are coming to the party with respect to giving consumers replacement barrels that are less buggy. Of course if you read the forums with those two articles people have noted that the new barrels and locks on them that Kryptonite are offering consumers are almost as bad.
What has happened with this new information on the Internet is now rather than only bike thieves and the like having the information pretty much everyone can easily find out about it. Sure bike lock companies should not have been relying on Security by obscurity, and alas they have not gotten entirely better. As John says try Abus or Trelock brands, motor cycle locks and companies supplying them (ie these two brands) are a lot better than most bike locks.
Fri, 24 Sep 2004
Of course Sun doesn't really get it. - 11:40
Thu, 23 Sep 2004
Sour grapes in kernel coding - 19:36
Basically the LTT developers are whining about LTT not being accepted into the mainline Linux kernel causing the LTT to lag and allow dtrace to be a more advanced technology. I have to agree with the Sun guys here, it seems to be sour grapes. In the case of the Linux kernel you simply need to work with the kernel maintainers the way they wish to work. First provide code and tests or performance data to back up your ideas to prove that some feature should be in the kernel. Then publicly work with the kernel maintainers to integrate your code and ideas in small patches. Do not try to develop elsewhere for some amount of time and then submit a huge monolithic patch then whine when it is rejected.
Mon, 20 Sep 2004
Diary apathy. - 22:12
Trying to be a real blogger. - 19:23
Getting some riding in. - 12:19
On my second lap I had a small crash, sliding out around a corner, not bad, just some grazes on my right arm and leg. I stopped for a few minutes after the crash and sat on my bike until I was sure I had regrouped. The course this year is 19KM, the lap took me 1 hour 12 minutes, including the time I stopped after the crash. This was at an easy pace with no significant hard effort put in, so I should be able to do a similar pace when riding solo in the race.
At the end of the second lap I was starting to run low on food and water so I decided to head back into Canberra, this time via the Federal Highway and Gunghalin so I could visit Gary and find out how he was going with his arm and all. Gary seems good, he is handling the pain well and is already talking about getting back on the stationary trainer and into running again in a few weeks. Anyway it was good to have 281KM of riding this weekend to make up for the slightly low KM count during the week last week.
Fri, 17 Sep 2004
Mountain Biking Breaks - 11:24
9 people at the cafe at 6am, on the way over John got a pinch flat on a gutter, so we waited for him, just as we approached the gate I got a call from Gary Rolfe wondering where we were, we rolled in to sight as he finished calling. Another 6 people including Gary at the gate, the list of riders was now
Dave B, Julie Q, Alan L, Andrew Rowe, Adair F, Angus H, Alex R, John B, Steve H (me), Gary R, Jaymz D, Andrew? (friend of Gary's), Ben C, Pete B, Christine B
15 people for the morning ride.
So we climbed on in and on the entry to the first ST my front wheel went into a rut, washed out in loose sand after the rut and I went over the handlebars, oops, oh well no harm done so on we went.
Due to the size of the group we had to wait about 2 minutes at the end of most single tracks. Then through Pitt st I was able to to the gap jump three times in a row while waiting for everyone to catch up. I must say though flow wise I prefer the double at the bottom of the first straight section of Pitt st over the gap, it is a really smooth jump that double.
Even with the huge group I was aiming to get to the top of the northern end
ST today so we pushed on pretty fast and climbed up the switchbacks at the
northern end (just to torment Andrew R on his single speed
The descent from the northern end put a huge grin on everyone's faces. I
was attempting to drop Angus from my back wheel all the way, and got out of
his sight a few times, he did alas see flashes of me through the trees so I
did not quite manage it.
Upon regrouping we headed toward the dam, taking the alternate route through
the two new large gullies at the bottom there, I went through both and
stopped to watch everyone else come through, about 5 people had come
through both and a few more through the first when everyone stopped. Gary
Rolfe crashed in the first gully, his guess is he saw the rut at the bottom,
and went through it a bit sketchy then kept looking at the rut and was
kicked over the bars, he put his left arm out and landed on it. At first it
didn't hurt much he said, though he heard a noise, upon looking at it however
it was at a strange angle.
So Gary broke some bones in his left arm (he is left handed, which will mean
he can not write for a while). Unfortunate for Gary as in his own words he
was just starting to regain some form he lost through illness over the past
6 months, and was looking forward to doing well in the road race this
weekend and in up coming events. Heck Gary was the person who talked me into
doing the 24 hour solo this year, on the basis of saying "if you ride solo I
will ride solo", he is obviously not riding in that event this year (which
will be the first 24 hour race he has ever missed riding in)
So everyone send their best wishes to Gary for a quick recovery and lets
hope we can keep his spirits up.
The ongoing turning to the darkside - 15:16
As for this week, well was up doing stuff for the
Bilbys pretty late Tuesday night, so got to
sleep around 12:30am, I forgot to set my alarm, and thus missed out on the
Wednesday morning road ride, however as I woke up at 9am I probably needed the
sleep anyway. So for the rest of the day I was looking longingly outside
wanting to go for a ride. Eventually just before 5pm I hopped on the road bike
and rode over to Mitchell, back to ANU, out to Warramanga and back to ANU. A
nice 45KM at a mostly easy pace. This morning was Majura with Jaymz, Mike, and
Tanja. (Jez opted out as, being a man of leisure currently was heading out to
Kowen with Andrew Rowe at 8am for some bigger kays) Lunch was a fun play on Mt
Ainslie, so far today it was 26KM this morning, 10 KM more commuting and
running an errand, and 18KM at lunch. All fun.
Approaching my regular fitness - 13:41
I helped with timing and stuff at the CORC 3 hour day night race on Saturday
and admittedly was glad not to be racing as it was raining heavily, freezing
cold and muddy. Sunday turned out fine, however Marea had to go to Sydney
suddenly on Friday arvo so I wasn't doing the cyclegaine anyway.
The cyclegaine had some things happen, Andrew Rowe and David Baldwin had to
finish with only 3 hours of effort as Dave's rear derailleur (XTR, AUD $300
worth) exploded after
a small stick got caught and twisted and broke everything. Michael Carden and
Allan Bontjer competed as a team of ring ins, replacing the original team of
Jim Trail and David Morgan completely, teams of ring ins amuse me.
Timestamps and rss dates - 13:23
I noticed when Mikal pulled my
lca entries into a
planet-lca that the time
stamps of entries pulled from my Diary rss feed were wrong.
AJ pointed out that standard
blosxom needed to be patched with the <pubDate> tags and pointed out the
debian blosxom package was likely already patched. He was correct so I copied
the debian tags into my blosxom.cgi
Still feeling kind of flat - 18:04
As for this weekend, I still have not decided if I want to compete in the two
events, Saturday afternoon/evening is a
CORC 3hour day/night race, Sunday is the
ACTRA 6 hour cyclegaine (mountain bike
navigation event, a bit like a 1 day
which I have been planning to compete in with Marea (same team we
rode the Polaris this
year). The weather forecast looks miserable and neither Marea or I are
feeling in top form, it may be a good idea for me to relax a bit this weekend,
after all my solo effort at the 2004
Mont Australian 24 Hour race is looming.
Toys and locations - 11:34
Michael's comments on the five worlds of software development today. - 11:16
The next point of interest is where MRD talks about internal software that
allows people in a company or development group to get the job done more
effectively. If we reference back to the recent Paul Graham essay on
Great Hackers he suggests a
large company may be able to employ great hackers if they can work on this
sort of project. Even if the software the company sells would not interest
thee people, the intermediate software they may develop to allow all the other
developers in the company to work better may be a good target for them. I
suppose in referencing this and looking at the projects MRD talks about you
can see some correlation between great hackers and the intermediate software,
Samba, Apache, PHP, etc.
Twelfth Night - 10:55
Anyway we have been doing this for around 8 years now, and seen a few
different performances. The Bell production that came to Canberra earlier this
year, "Servant of Two Masters" was absolutely brilliant, not Shakespeare, so
different for Bell, however it was one of the funniest things I have seen in
years. Last night was the current production of "Twelfth Night" and though it
was good, something about the show didn't jibe with me. I didn't like the fools
in this play, but it was not just that. I hope I am not getting too blase or
anything about this, I hardly see my non cycling, non geek friends apart from
That mtb stuff is a heap of fun. - 12:01
Saturday dawned and we got ready to race, I volunteered for the start lap,
which involves running a few hundred metres to the bikes and then heading on
out for a very crowded lap of the course. I had a cold the two weeks leading
up to this race, I thought I was over it, however I noticed when trying to use
my top end speed on the bike my breathing was more laboured than I am used to
and I was coughing more than normal. Strangely when you consider the crowding
on the first lap, my latent cold and the run we did to start I ended up doing
a 33:37 first lap, last year my fastest lap was 35:50. I did however end up
paying for this effort later in the day. Heidi headed out for her first lap
and had the bad luck of a puncture in the first single track.
When I headed out for my next two laps in a row I did start finding breathing
and a flat feeling in my legs proving difficult, I even ended up warding off
cramps, it appeared I was definitely not on form for this race. Heidi wasn't
either so fortunately neither of us felt we were letting the team down. We
decided to ignore results and just go out and have as much fun as we could, I
was doing as many jumps and other things I could on each lap and generally
having a ball, Heidi also started to enjoy her laps a lot more once all
possible pressure about results was off.
Around 5:30pm we decided to have a bit of a break, then as it started to pour
with rain and thunderstorms hit we cracked open the beers. All in all we had a
really good time at the race, who cares about results. (okay okay so I admit
we are already planning strategies for wining next year, the winning mixed
team this year did 18 laps, the same number as we did last year. Heidi and I
both know we can improve so we want to go for it again next September)
Panic over dns, what work for lca this week (where are we going today</plagarise>) - 21:29
As for where we are going today (rather poor deliberate plagarism), we had
another meeting and again it appears we had more people than actual jobs to do
at the moment. This could be a good thing, when there is a lot of work to do
we should have the people available for the work. I still need to work on
letting go a bit and allowing lca crew members to do their own thing more and
just being around to ensure things get done.
As for media wise, Rusty has
volunteered to be the media contact person for the conference. This is cool as
he has the gift of the gab (kissed the
blarney stone or
similar) in the context of media and people in suits and the like. Also he
knows the guff about linux.conf.au pretty well.
The WSMTB N-ZO 12 hour commeth. - 09:52
So there is a 12
hour mtb race this weekend in the western sydney area. I have competed in
this race both in 2002 in mens pairs with Andrew Rowe and last year
(2003) in mixed pairs
with Heidi Flaxman. The race is held between Richmond and Springwood on the
edge of the Blue Mountains in Yellomundee National Park. Every year the course
has been a heck of a lot of fun, with interesting technical obstacles in
places around the course, good flowing single track, basically a huge variey
of really good mtb terrain, lots to look forward to :)
Heidi is one of the fastest female mtb riders in Australia, so having her on
my team last year was a good thing, the plan had been to win. We thought we
had, heck they gave us first place on the night of the event. A few days later
when the results were put online we discovered we had in fact come second by 3
minutes. (which after 12 hours is pretty close I suppose)
So this year we intend to learn from our mistakes and see what we can do
better. Last year there were a few obvious blunders we made, though I think I
can lay the blame for the three minute loss at the end on my preperation for
my final laps.
So Heidi has flown in to Australia from where she is now living in New
Zealand, and we are getting ready to try to make up for last year. What ever
happens though it should be a great weekend with some really fun riding :)
Issues with blosxom's files and timestamps - 09:42
A problem with this arises if you need to update or modify an entry, or maybe
when recovering from backups or various other similar actions. If the
timestamps change, the diary entries are rearranged.
Fortunately as Mikal pointed out, blosxom is
a 444 line perl program so trivial to modify. My plan is to use a time stamp
in an html comment somewhere in each diary entry file and make blosxom use
those to sort the files. Another option is simply using those time stamps in a
post processing step and that step can read them and use date (1) with the -d
option to ensure they are in the correct order for blosxom. It is not a
difficult problem to get around.
Earlier agenda next time - 18:37
One thing of note here, Michael had the view that it appears there are a lot
of us meeting fairly often and not getting a whole lot done. Part of this may
be because we have a large group of people all rocking up and there really is
not a huge amount of work to be done for the conference right now. Another
aspect could be I am not managing the people resources as well as I
should. Also I may not be delegating and trusting others enough, I really need
to find ways to ensure all the lca crew members feel it is their linux
conference and if they write announcements and other items in their style
without me hanging over their shoulders it may help a lot.
The descent from the northern end put a huge grin on everyone's faces. I was attempting to drop Angus from my back wheel all the way, and got out of his sight a few times, he did alas see flashes of me through the trees so I did not quite manage it.
Upon regrouping we headed toward the dam, taking the alternate route through the two new large gullies at the bottom there, I went through both and stopped to watch everyone else come through, about 5 people had come through both and a few more through the first when everyone stopped. Gary Rolfe crashed in the first gully, his guess is he saw the rut at the bottom, and went through it a bit sketchy then kept looking at the rut and was kicked over the bars, he put his left arm out and landed on it. At first it didn't hurt much he said, though he heard a noise, upon looking at it however it was at a strange angle.
So Gary broke some bones in his left arm (he is left handed, which will mean he can not write for a while). Unfortunate for Gary as in his own words he was just starting to regain some form he lost through illness over the past 6 months, and was looking forward to doing well in the road race this weekend and in up coming events. Heck Gary was the person who talked me into doing the 24 hour solo this year, on the basis of saying "if you ride solo I will ride solo", he is obviously not riding in that event this year (which will be the first 24 hour race he has ever missed riding in)
So everyone send their best wishes to Gary for a quick recovery and lets hope we can keep his spirits up.
The ongoing turning to the darkside - 15:16
As for this week, well was up doing stuff for the Bilbys pretty late Tuesday night, so got to sleep around 12:30am, I forgot to set my alarm, and thus missed out on the Wednesday morning road ride, however as I woke up at 9am I probably needed the sleep anyway. So for the rest of the day I was looking longingly outside wanting to go for a ride. Eventually just before 5pm I hopped on the road bike and rode over to Mitchell, back to ANU, out to Warramanga and back to ANU. A nice 45KM at a mostly easy pace. This morning was Majura with Jaymz, Mike, and Tanja. (Jez opted out as, being a man of leisure currently was heading out to Kowen with Andrew Rowe at 8am for some bigger kays) Lunch was a fun play on Mt Ainslie, so far today it was 26KM this morning, 10 KM more commuting and running an errand, and 18KM at lunch. All fun.
Approaching my regular fitness - 13:41
I helped with timing and stuff at the CORC 3 hour day night race on Saturday and admittedly was glad not to be racing as it was raining heavily, freezing cold and muddy. Sunday turned out fine, however Marea had to go to Sydney suddenly on Friday arvo so I wasn't doing the cyclegaine anyway.
The cyclegaine had some things happen, Andrew Rowe and David Baldwin had to finish with only 3 hours of effort as Dave's rear derailleur (XTR, AUD $300 worth) exploded after a small stick got caught and twisted and broke everything. Michael Carden and Allan Bontjer competed as a team of ring ins, replacing the original team of Jim Trail and David Morgan completely, teams of ring ins amuse me.
Timestamps and rss dates - 13:23
I noticed when Mikal pulled my lca entries into a planet-lca that the time stamps of entries pulled from my Diary rss feed were wrong. AJ pointed out that standard blosxom needed to be patched with the <pubDate> tags and pointed out the debian blosxom package was likely already patched. He was correct so I copied the debian tags into my blosxom.cgi
Still feeling kind of flat - 18:04
As for this weekend, I still have not decided if I want to compete in the two events, Saturday afternoon/evening is a CORC 3hour day/night race, Sunday is the ACTRA 6 hour cyclegaine (mountain bike navigation event, a bit like a 1 day Polaris Challenge) which I have been planning to compete in with Marea (same team we rode the Polaris this year). The weather forecast looks miserable and neither Marea or I are feeling in top form, it may be a good idea for me to relax a bit this weekend, after all my solo effort at the 2004 Mont Australian 24 Hour race is looming.
Toys and locations - 11:34
Michael's comments on the five worlds of software development today. - 11:16
The next point of interest is where MRD talks about internal software that allows people in a company or development group to get the job done more effectively. If we reference back to the recent Paul Graham essay on Great Hackers he suggests a large company may be able to employ great hackers if they can work on this sort of project. Even if the software the company sells would not interest thee people, the intermediate software they may develop to allow all the other developers in the company to work better may be a good target for them. I suppose in referencing this and looking at the projects MRD talks about you can see some correlation between great hackers and the intermediate software, Samba, Apache, PHP, etc.
Twelfth Night - 10:55
Anyway we have been doing this for around 8 years now, and seen a few different performances. The Bell production that came to Canberra earlier this year, "Servant of Two Masters" was absolutely brilliant, not Shakespeare, so different for Bell, however it was one of the funniest things I have seen in years. Last night was the current production of "Twelfth Night" and though it was good, something about the show didn't jibe with me. I didn't like the fools in this play, but it was not just that. I hope I am not getting too blase or anything about this, I hardly see my non cycling, non geek friends apart from these outings.
That mtb stuff is a heap of fun. - 12:01
Saturday dawned and we got ready to race, I volunteered for the start lap, which involves running a few hundred metres to the bikes and then heading on out for a very crowded lap of the course. I had a cold the two weeks leading up to this race, I thought I was over it, however I noticed when trying to use my top end speed on the bike my breathing was more laboured than I am used to and I was coughing more than normal. Strangely when you consider the crowding on the first lap, my latent cold and the run we did to start I ended up doing a 33:37 first lap, last year my fastest lap was 35:50. I did however end up paying for this effort later in the day. Heidi headed out for her first lap and had the bad luck of a puncture in the first single track.
When I headed out for my next two laps in a row I did start finding breathing and a flat feeling in my legs proving difficult, I even ended up warding off cramps, it appeared I was definitely not on form for this race. Heidi wasn't either so fortunately neither of us felt we were letting the team down. We decided to ignore results and just go out and have as much fun as we could, I was doing as many jumps and other things I could on each lap and generally having a ball, Heidi also started to enjoy her laps a lot more once all possible pressure about results was off.
Around 5:30pm we decided to have a bit of a break, then as it started to pour with rain and thunderstorms hit we cracked open the beers. All in all we had a really good time at the race, who cares about results. (okay okay so I admit we are already planning strategies for wining next year, the winning mixed team this year did 18 laps, the same number as we did last year. Heidi and I both know we can improve so we want to go for it again next September)
Panic over dns, what work for lca this week (where are we going today</plagarise>) - 21:29
As for where we are going today (rather poor deliberate plagarism), we had another meeting and again it appears we had more people than actual jobs to do at the moment. This could be a good thing, when there is a lot of work to do we should have the people available for the work. I still need to work on letting go a bit and allowing lca crew members to do their own thing more and just being around to ensure things get done.
As for media wise, Rusty has volunteered to be the media contact person for the conference. This is cool as he has the gift of the gab (kissed the blarney stone or similar) in the context of media and people in suits and the like. Also he knows the guff about linux.conf.au pretty well.
The WSMTB N-ZO 12 hour commeth. - 09:52
So there is a 12 hour mtb race this weekend in the western sydney area. I have competed in this race both in 2002 in mens pairs with Andrew Rowe and last year (2003) in mixed pairs with Heidi Flaxman. The race is held between Richmond and Springwood on the edge of the Blue Mountains in Yellomundee National Park. Every year the course has been a heck of a lot of fun, with interesting technical obstacles in places around the course, good flowing single track, basically a huge variey of really good mtb terrain, lots to look forward to :)
Heidi is one of the fastest female mtb riders in Australia, so having her on my team last year was a good thing, the plan had been to win. We thought we had, heck they gave us first place on the night of the event. A few days later when the results were put online we discovered we had in fact come second by 3 minutes. (which after 12 hours is pretty close I suppose)
So this year we intend to learn from our mistakes and see what we can do
better. Last year there were a few obvious blunders we made, though I think I
can lay the blame for the three minute loss at the end on my preperation for
my final laps.
So Heidi has flown in to Australia from where she is now living in New Zealand, and we are getting ready to try to make up for last year. What ever happens though it should be a great weekend with some really fun riding :)
Issues with blosxom's files and timestamps - 09:42
A problem with this arises if you need to update or modify an entry, or maybe when recovering from backups or various other similar actions. If the timestamps change, the diary entries are rearranged.
Fortunately as Mikal pointed out, blosxom is a 444 line perl program so trivial to modify. My plan is to use a time stamp in an html comment somewhere in each diary entry file and make blosxom use those to sort the files. Another option is simply using those time stamps in a post processing step and that step can read them and use date (1) with the -d option to ensure they are in the correct order for blosxom. It is not a difficult problem to get around.
Earlier agenda next time - 18:37
One thing of note here, Michael had the view that it appears there are a lot of us meeting fairly often and not getting a whole lot done. Part of this may be because we have a large group of people all rocking up and there really is not a huge amount of work to be done for the conference right now. Another aspect could be I am not managing the people resources as well as I should. Also I may not be delegating and trusting others enough, I really need to find ways to ensure all the lca crew members feel it is their linux conference and if they write announcements and other items in their style without me hanging over their shoulders it may help a lot.