Other online diaries:
Sat, 28 Jan 2006
Mark Shuttleworth talk notes. - 12:54
My NZ Mtb trip in May 2005, oh and some ghosts. - 12:37
As I am back in New Zealand again at the moment and about to do 2 weeks of mountain bike riding, which will include competing in the n-duro 24 hour race. I thought I had better upload these photos before the next trip really has gotten under way. (Also while I still have bandwidth at lca right now).
Fri, 27 Jan 2006
Van Jacobson rocks - 15:13
However the standout talk of the entire conference was probably the next one I saw. Van Jacobson, you know one of the guys that was involved with creating the Internet, and designed protocols in such a way that they do not suck and thus the Internet does not fall over. Anyway he presented a seminar with suggestions for speeding up the Linux tcp stack (lca link).
Van Jacobson had done the code, the tests and the work had really obvious merit for the conclusions, he presented to the likes of Dave M, Linus and Rusty, everyone else liked the talk too.
More trench notes. - 11:12
I have uploaded some notes, not much from Chris' talk but a but from the rest.
Wayne has managed to make the tinmith system a lot smaller now, to the extent the entire system fits in a bum bag sized case with some batteries mounted on the hips (2 8 Amp Hour batteries, I suspect if he used NiMH 4.4 Amp Hour cells he could get the battery packs even smaller and lighter too).
Damian Conway rocked seriously, a great speaker and I am a perl fan so it was fun to see.
Thu, 26 Jan 2006
Trench notes - 15:04
So far I have put notes up from
The notes are fairly rough, and just my interpretation of things. Also I recorded stuff from the slides a bit so if you look at them when they are eventually released by the organisers there will be some overlap.
Wed, 25 Jan 2006
linux.conf.au 2006, bring it on - 10:25
Mike Beattie and his crew have put on another awesome conference this year. Some of the highlights are going to be Van Jacobson (yes that Van Jacobson) with suggestions on how to improve the speed and integration of the Linux tcp stack. Damien Conway's keynote (I really tried to get Damien to lca last year but alas he had to pull out for various reasons), Dave Miller, the guy who melted all our brains at CALU in Melbourne and lca in Sydney. And a whole heap of other stuff, if you are not here, why the heck not?
Heck as Mike said in the conference handbook, they even improved on the cardboard cutout Linus technology we used in Canberra last year to the extent you can talk with Linus in a real interactive conversation, though Mike does request that no one try to fold him up and take him home in their suitcase.
Right now I have just been taking notes in a tutorial from Andrew Fitsimon on open source graphic design. Showing off the features and capabilities of inkscape, scribus, the gimp, fontforge and how to produce web and print quality stuff well. The tools are amazing, and in the hands of a graphic designer as capable as Andrew some cool stuff can be created.
Looking forward to a whole lot more cool geekery over the coming days.
Mon, 23 Jan 2006
2006 Audax Alpine Classic - 22:30
Fri, 20 Jan 2006
What a coinkidoink. - 10:21
Anyway last night I had gotten home from work and received phone call from a AC Nielson person performing a phone survey of ACT residence on our perception of the Australian Federal Police wok in Canberra. I thought sure I have a few minutes I can answer some questions.
At the end of the survey the woman asking the questions requested a bit of additional information, one item of which was my occupation. When I answered Programmer/System Administrator she happened to mention, "that is what my Son does down there (meaning in Canberra), though he is not there right now, he is in New Zealand", to which I responded is does he happen to be attending a conference? when she answered that yes he was, I said is it in Dunedin? when she answered yes I realised he was another person attending linux.conf.au 2006. Thinking about it I probably know the guy (though she never said his name), after all there are not many Canberrans attending LCA, and I probably know most if not all of them from CLUG and maybe previous conferences. I remember her name was Bridget (though I forget her surname), anyway just another strange random coincidence.
Who knows I may see him there next week, I am looking forward to linux.conf.au a lot this year as I did not get to actually see much in the way of conference last year strangely. Mike and his crew have lined up some excellent speakers, it is going to be a hoot.
Mon, 16 Jan 2006
Some of the better batgirls - 18:05
There are a heap more, those are just the images I liked in the first 200 or so when I looked on Saturday afternoon.
Sun, 15 Jan 2006
The slashdot effect vs digg - 22:52
This is somewhat reminiscent of the slashdot effect t-shirt the Canberra Ozlabs crew made up a few years ago (I was unable to find a photo of any of them wearing it after a quick search), however it is interesting some the conclusions Jason draws here and some of the numbers from his own logs.
I can see what he means about the editorial backing behind slashdot keeping it relevant and interesting to many people, heck Rob Malda weighs in on the Digg style of voting for stories in the slashdot FAQ. Personally I stopped reading slashdot regularly sometime in late 1998 as I decided I did not personally like the editorial line, accuracy (or lack there of) and for some items lag in getting on there. However I can see why is popular still to such an extent, and there is occasionally some interesting comments on there. Also I will read interviews or the odd other item if someone points me toward it.
However the bit Jason points out about stories lasting there longer, the editorial control rather than voting or similar, and a few other points definitely help show some of the reasoning behind slashdot being as long lived as it is. The analysis is worth a read IMO, though it is interesting to note that Rob Malda dealt with a lot of the conclusions in the FAQ back in the year 2000 or so already. I am happy enough with LWN for my geek news though.
Sat, 14 Jan 2006
Must draw Batgirl meme - 23:27
Fri, 13 Jan 2006
Finally faster - 15:59
Back in November I mentioned this to Steve Walsh of Nerdvana, he told me they do colo, and would throw in new hardware (leasing arrangement) all for less per month than we are currently paying and colocated in a rather nice facility in Sydney. Martijn and I thought this sounded tops so signed up.
Finally we shifted all the domains and config and data and everything across for the final time last night and we now are actively using the new server for all domains we host and everything else. The new machine is definitely a nice step up, now a Dual 3 GHz Xeon with Hyperthreading, 1 GB of RAM and 2 250 GB SATA drives configured in RAID 1 for full redundancy. Damn this new machine is fast, operations that used to take a few minutes now happen in 2 or 3 seconds.
Finally I can do a few things I have been holding off from doing on the old machine for a while, either for lack of disk space, lack of memory or incredibly high load caused by trying to do the things I had in mind. Heck I may even add some sort of comments thing to this diary (Jane reckons I need comments here)
One of the other problems with the old machine was I had never gotten it to cleanly boot up into a kernel newer than 2.2.20pre2, which meant ancient firewalling, probably a few vulnerabilities, inability to try some new things that may have been interesting and a few other issues. The machine was also running Woody, so it is nice to have Sarge with a few even newer bits on the new machine.
RIP calyx.svana.org, long live calyx.svana.org (we did not change the name, which was confusing once or twice while moving config over).
[15:46:41] 9 calyx sjh ~> sh -c 'cat /proc/cpuinfo ; free ; df ; uname -a' | egrep 'MHz|Mem|cg0-data|Linux' cpu MHz : 3000.269 cpu MHz : 3000.269 cpu MHz : 3000.269 cpu MHz : 3000.269 Mem: 1036352 1001088 35264 0 68208 713860 /dev/mapper/vg0-data 235694888 8981204 214741076 5% /data Linux calyx 220.127.116.11 #1 SMP Fri Nov 25 23:43:09 EST 2005 i686 GNU/Linux [15:47:27] 10 calyx sjh ~>
Tue, 10 Jan 2006
Kids and the rest of us in a culture of fear - 18:49
I have mentioned some of the negative issues of the culture of fear we live within in the past, however reading something like this really makes me wonder if anyone listens to experts on the broader scale when it comes to youth culture.
Danah points out how when Columbine happened, the media in The Netherlands was quite sensibly coming out with stories about "how there was a school shooting by kids who felt alienated from their community." then when the US media started appearing it was more along the lines of "Goths (or anyone wearing black, especially black trench coats) were marked as the devil incarnate. Video games were evil and were promoting killing. Everything was blamed except the root cause: alienation."
Danah goes on to point out how people such as MIT Professor Henry Jenkins when testifying in Washington "about how dangerous our culture has become, not because there are tools of rage, but an unchecked systematic creation of youth alienation." (Children's Culture Plea) appeared to be completely ignored in favour of the easily sold media darling of evil kids.
Danah says a few more really interesting things here, wondering how youth come of age when protectionist actions create hatred and resentment, how ageist rhetoric alienates younger people. Or the US centred (but probably still valid to an extent here with compulsory voting) question of "Ever wonder why young people don't vote? Why should they? They've been told for so damn long that their voices don't matter". I once linked to some studies pointing out drugging children to make them happy doesn't really work, however Danah goes further with "We drug our children the whole way through school as a mechanism of control and wonder why drug abuse and alcoholism is rampant when they come of age.". I could continue quoting this article however i strongly recommend it be read for some perspective on youth culture.
As mentioned Danah was on fire with the youth issues in November, a week after the above article she posted her perspective on a rather poor appearing new law in California which is mostly about how the respect of your children (And youth in general) should be earned and you should not attempt to enforce it, also she points out how important giving youth their own agency is, let them choose, let them make their own mistakes. This really echos strongly with me because of how I think my Mother raised Jane and I rather well. Our mother would never explicitly forbid us from doing things, if we started doing something foolish or mentioned something she disagreed with we intended to do she would tell us she thought it inane and stupid, however she would not forbid the activity and if we set our minds to it would not stop us from learning for ourselves. This works amazingly well because it really does allow you to gain respect for your parents.
Anyway both links are a good read, Thanks Danah.
For those who do not know, it is a cartoon that has appeared in the MBUK mountain biking magazine since the 80s. Mint Sauce is a philosophical mountain biking sheep, and a damn good read I think. I almost religiously collected MBUK from some time in 1992 until around 1996 sometime (including the year I lived in England throughout 1993) and really do have fond memories of the cartoon. (and all the back issues in storage along with posters and stickers and other paraphernalia)
MBUK has a link to this archive at the moment which means it is probably fairly new, good to see a link to it on the wikipedia stub too. This brings back so many memories, maybe I should get some of the stickers out of storage and decorate one of my bikes a bit, except of course JJJim already has some Mint Sauce stickers on his Ventana so I would just be following the crowd again.
Mon, 09 Jan 2006
I forgot the not make the pan icky stuff - 21:29
Sure I hear you say I could be a man and simply grease my baking trays in order to stop the cookies sticking to the trays, alas I am not well'ard and dislike washing baking trays to remove icky cookie baking residue. Thus I will get some Glad Bake in the morning and bake cookies tomorrow night. If only I had thought about this and remembered I needed it while getting the other ingredients and assorted groceries.
Some good mtb rides in Tallaganda - 16:11
The weekend Just past Dave Sutton had mentioned he was planning to head out on one of Saturday or Sunday for a ride from Canberra, out Captains Flat road, through Hoskinstown and into Tallaganda, then on down to Braidwood for some lunch and then a lift back to Canberra. Dave was getting a few people interested and said space was however limited for the lift home as his van could take 4 people and bikes (being driven out and back by his wife Cec), also I was kind of pondering the idea of a long ride such as this on the mountain bike where more than half the ride would be on the road, that did not appeal, particularly in light of the fact that Captains Flat road is not a fun/interesting/nice road on which to ride at any time really.
Alex said he was keen for another long mountain bike ride this weekend, also Allan Bontjer and a few other people expressed some interest in the idea. I put forward the plan of driving out to Hoskinstown, meeting the group riding from Canberra as they came through, riding with them to Braidwood and riding back to the cars a slightly different way through Tallaganda on the return journey. This plan had the added advantage of a bit more of a sleep in on top of more riding off road and a good explore through some more fun terrain.
Saturday rolled around and I picked up Allan and headed out there to meet with Dave Austin, Alex Ramsey, Randall Fitzsimon, Jaymz Davies and Tony (friend of Jaymz's) who had all driven out also, and we waited a few minutes for Jim Trail, Marea England, Michael Carden, Ley Kingdom and Dave Sutton who were all on their bikes riding out.
I forgot to take a camera on this ride (though I believe Marea may have taken a few photos) however it was a great ride (though with no photographic evidence maybe the ride was a figment of our collective imaginations?). 92 KM of almost entirely off road riding, great bushland to ride through, good company of 11 other mountain bikers (and 6 others on the return ride). Braidwood was packed (coast traffic around Saturday lunchtime I guess) and the Bakery where we refuelled was standing room only with difficulty getting in and out the one exit/entrance door.
With 5h20m riding time it was a pretty good hit out, Allan and Dave both mentioning it was the longest they had been on a bike in one hit for a while, both of them got through it alright, though Allan did not get along well with some of the steeper climbs on the return trip. I doubt he will have much trouble with the Alpine Classic in 2 weeks, as Allan said the climbing in that does not ever go much above 10% unlike the 25% gradients we were doing during the mtb ride. Anyway it is a road ride and Allan is used to road rides.
Thu, 05 Jan 2006
Pub Bike - 16:50
Cookies'R'Us - 16:24
They turned out fairly well, a soft texture, almost like a cake but still crunchy, this is due to the rise induced by the baking soda. I can understand why nuts or some other variations (adding fruit, etc) may be worthwhile to make them a bit more interesting as a biscuit. Maybe some rice bubbles in the mix would be good also. They went down fairly well on the Tallaganda ride I did on Monday, though when I was eating the cookies at home my milk consumption was rather high as they really did go down better with a glass of milk.
Wed, 04 Jan 2006
First non Latin alphabet google logo. - 19:24
Anyway, rather cool I think.
Sun, 01 Jan 2006
Authors read too - 17:51
It is good to see he is a prolific reader (80 books read in 2005) and still appreciates it as a premier form of entertainment with the following quote
A friend of mine sold her first novel this fall. She said the good part was finally being allowed into the playground where the big kids play. The bad part, she said, was that her book was tentatively scheduled for publication in 2007. She asked me if I thought people would even be reading novels in 2007, with so many other entertainment options available. I had to laugh, because novels are still the best entertainment option. Even a hardcover is cheaper than two tickets to the local multiplex, especially once you throw in gas, parking, and babysitting. Also, a book lasts longer and there are no ads. Need more? No tiresome ratings system to keep you out if you're under 17, the special effects are always primo (because you make 'em up yourself), and although I read nearly 80 books this year, I never ran across the Olsen twins a single time.
Sing it sister! also books are far more portable than movies and tv.
I am interested to note the number of books he read is high (for someone who also wrote two books in the year and is probably a very busy person on top of his writing), I suspect doing a lot of reading helps more than most other activities for a professional writer, the only other activity that helps to such an extent is writing lots I suspect.
It would be neat if a few authors I really like put out similar lists I think, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett both come to mind.