Planet Arch Linux

April 13, 2006

Eli Janssen

No Postgresql on dreamhost

It is sad indeed. No postgres on dreamhost. They provide mysql of course (most webhosts do).

I have sworn off mysql for good, if I can help it. I have been considering migrating this blog over to my dreamhost account lately, and this has been a consideration point for me.

I think I will try out sqlite. Typo supports sqlite quite well, from what I understand. I will, of course, have to migrate the data from postgres into sqlite.

There is an upside though. Backups from here on out will require nothing more than a simple file copy! Yay!

It will give me a chance to work with sqlite a bit as well. I have been meaning to take a look at it for some time now, but have not gotten around to it until now.

April 13, 2006 06:59 AM

Some cool links

While doing some “yak shaving” this evening, I stumbled across a few choice links.

April 13, 2006 05:48 AM

Rails/Typo tweaks

I found some very useful rails+typo performance tweaks. Check them out on Zachary Pinter’s Site.

April 13, 2006 03:21 AM

April 12, 2006

Eli Janssen

Wiki go bye-bye

I am going to be taking down my wiki. I haven’t really been using it that much.

I use the blog alot, so I will probably just move the wiki pages that are currently listed, to a blog page or something.

The bonus of this–people can leave comments. Maybe those comments will be useful to others who may stumble upon the pages.

Wikis are great resources, when used with a community. My wiki is primarily a read only wiki, only editable by myself. This has limited use, and a simple blog page would suffice to achieve such a goal. Plus, it is just one more thing for me to manage.


Edit: I added the wiki entries as articles, and modified the dates on them, so that they are more in line with when they were first created/last modified.

April 12, 2006 06:55 PM

Official News

Official Arch64 install cd available

Posted by Jason on April 12, 2006: The Arch64 project has been working for over a year getting Archlinux to work on the x86_64 platform. Now they've released their first official install cd. Go to their project page and give it a try!

April 12, 2006 04:00 AM

April 11, 2006

Eli Janssen

zom-blog!

I am once again considering writing my own blog program. Not sure yet. I guess I am still on the fence.

Even typo has more features than I need at this point.

Needs:

I probably don’t even need trackback functionality, at least not at first.

I am very much so leaning towards using web.py for it. I considered using a filesystem storage, but using a database is easier. I want to use postgres, but dreamhost doesn’t do postgres, to my great sadness. :(

I guess I will see how motivated I become over the next couple of weeks.

April 11, 2006 07:02 AM

Aegis Project

Progress Update

I have updated several GIS packages and am now waiting to upload them. Development of Archie has resumed apace so I think you can expect to see a new AEGIS release around early May. This will feature all of the latest versions of the supported GIS applications and will of course provide all the benefits of recent Arch Linux and Archie development, including better hardware detection and possibly some broader hardware support.

April 11, 2006 02:53 AM

April 10, 2006

Dev Blog

2.6.17 snapshot kernels available

Hi
http://www.archlinux.org/~tpowa/2.6.17/
contains now kernel snapshots and modules,
enjoy the snapshots report problems/wishes according to the included readme.txt
greetings
tpowa

by tpowa at April 10, 2006 02:16 PM

April 09, 2006

Official News

ipw2x00 package rename to ipw2x00-fw

Posted by Tpowa on April 09, 2006: Hi renamed the packages that they represent the correct content. those packages only contain firmware and no module anymore. modules are in stock kernel included. greetings tpowa

April 09, 2006 04:00 AM

April 07, 2006

Philip Dillon-Thiselton

Shotgun Willy

I just made my £2 stake for the office Grand National Sweepstake. With a name like Shotgun Willy we can safely say that's £2 down the drain. Oh, well. It's all fun and games

April 07, 2006 11:29 AM

April 06, 2006

Official News

Broken alsa oss emulation in kernel 2.6.16.1-5/-6

Posted by Tpowa on April 06, 2006: Hi sorry folks last alsa patch introduced a weird upstream bug that could cause weird hangs or sound issues. oss emulation is broken in 2.6.16.1-5/-6 please update to 2.6.16.1-7 that includes a fix for that. greetings tpowa

April 06, 2006 04:00 AM

April 03, 2006

Official News

Newsletter for April 02, 2006

Posted by Jason on April 03, 2006: Sorry this newsletter is a day late. Someone spent more than 8 hours yesterday moving furniture from one condo to 6 or 7 different places. Current newsletter: http://www.archlinux.org/~jason/newsletters/newsletter-2006-Apr-02.html Archive: http://www.archlinux.org/~jason/newsletters/

April 03, 2006 04:00 AM

April 02, 2006

Official News

GNOME 2.14 and KDE 3.5.2 move to extra

Posted by Jgc on April 02, 2006: GNOME 2.14 and KDE 3.5.2 have been moved to extra. These releases bring quite a big amount of bugfixes, improvements and in the case of GNOME 2.14, speed increases. During the move several mirrors have been mirroring half of the repository, so expect some missing packages or broken dependencies on some mirrors today. Upgrading from previous releases should go in a breeze, as far as we know, no special precautions, other than logging out of GNOME/KDE have to be taken. Please report bugs you find to our dear bugtracker. Now these two big things have moved to current/extra, normal development can take place again, so expect updates to individual packages that have been outdated for a while now.

April 02, 2006 05:00 AM

Kernel 2.6.16.1 moved to current

Posted by Tpowa on April 02, 2006: Hi kernel moved to current enjoy new 2.6.16.1, intel modem drivers work again, thanks to andrew morton and the kernel crew who changed the kernel back to a state that the drivers will work again. greetings tpowa

April 02, 2006 05:00 AM

Just in case...

Posted by Aaron on April 02, 2006: I guess I have to post this. There seem to be some people who took the previous news post "Current Changes" a bit seriously. It should be taken as seriously as Slashdot's "new" pink layout. In case you didn't pick up on it, that news post was written on April 1st. If you still don't get it - that's April Fools Day. Cheers, Aaron

April 02, 2006 05:00 AM

April 01, 2006

Official News

Current Changes

Posted by Aaron on April 01, 2006: I just thought I would bring you all up to speed on some of the information currently going around the watercooler. Judd has officially accepted a job offer from Google, and as such, will be unable to continue with his Archlinux work. Lead of the project has moved to the capable hands of Jason Chu (Xentac). Jason's first order of business, as we push towards the 0.7.1.1 release (Codename: Pony), will be creating a [stable] repository, with older software. This will be the main focus of our work from now on, with all the security backports and compatability fixes. As such, the normal repos will begin to lack a bit, but those will be removed in time as we move to a more 'stable' and 'production quality' release system. Expect 0.7.1.1 in a few weeks. Thanks, Aaron

April 01, 2006 05:00 AM

March 31, 2006

Dev Blog

gensplash in [community]

Just an FYI. I have fixed the problems report with gensplash in [community] and the fixes will be uploaded this weekend. Apologies for the errors.

by dtw at March 31, 2006 10:10 AM

Official News

Kernel 2.6.16 progress

Posted by Tpowa on March 31, 2006: Hi ok uploaded now 2.6.16.1-2 kernel to testing, this contains latest acpi, ipw2100/2200 drivers and alsa rc4 from 2.6.17 kernel. Intel Modem drivers still not work :( i contacted them but still no answer. Now the timeline for the movement to current: When 2.6.16.2 is released and i have still no answer from Intel about their decission for their modem drivers, intel536/537 drivers are not longer officially supported by arch (perhaps they are resurected in future). For those that haven't tested 2.6.16 yet, check if it works on your machines and post bugs if you encounter problems. greetings tpowa

March 31, 2006 05:00 AM

March 29, 2006

Jason Chu

What happened to the BBS text file?

I'm over at http://www.textfiles.com/, reading some of the history and getting all nostalgic and suddenly this thought hits me. Where did all the people writing these wonderful text files go? Are they too old for this kid stuff?

Or are they too busy surfing and chatting to write these sorts of things? One of the things about BBSes was that you couldn't be on them all the time. You used up your phone line and the phone line connected to the BBS (round these parts most BBSes only had one line coming in). If you were on there all the time, no one else had a chance. What did people do with all their time?

Reading some of the files, it looks like they got into a lot of trouble. Anarchy, bomb building, phreaking, cracking... Then they'd write about it. I wonder if there are less of them because no one is going out and trying this stuff.

Then again, maybe those text file writers just turned into bloggers...

March 29, 2006 06:23 AM

March 23, 2006

Aaron Griffin

SSH Connection Control

I just discovered this today. For those of you who ssh everywhere, this is really beneficial:

In ~/.ssh/config, add the following lines:

host *
controlmaster auto
controlpath /tmp/ssh-%r@%h:%p

What this does is set a ‘master control’ socket when you make an SSH connection. The socket is named based on the ‘controlpath’ setting (%r = username, %h = hostname, %p = port).

This master socket is used for each successive connection after the first, as long as one connection still exists. That is, if I connect via “ssh myuser@myhost.com”, a socket named /tmp/ssh-myuser@myhost.com:22 is created. If I then ssh again to the same host, the socket is found and the remote ssh session is told to spawn a new shell. This shell does not require a login, and spawns immediately, as you’re already logged in. Brilliant!

by phrakture at March 23, 2006 06:23 PM

March 22, 2006

Aaron Griffin

linux console colors

What you say?

Yeah, I’m talking about coloring the ‘linux console’ - the little thing that you get when you login without X. Most people I know use a framebuffer. That’s due to the fact that non-framebuffered text is huge by default. Typically, you’ll set vga=791 or something, and the text gets more readable, and it’s left at that.

Yes, some people out there prefer bootsplash/gensplash/usplash/wtf-splash… I don’t (though I do use grub-gfx from the AUR - grub with the background pixmap patch). However, when one boots into a framebuffer mode, you typically chose a color depth (personally, my laptop doesn’t like anything over 16bit color, but that’s good enough for me).

Ok, so I’m sure some people have asked “well, if I’m not using a splash screen, what use is all this color depth malarky?” - I’ll show you.

My ~/.bashrc contains the following lines:

if [ "$TERM" = "linux" ]; then
echo -en "e]P0222222" #black
echo -en "e]P8222222" #darkgrey
echo -en "e]P1803232" #darkred
echo -en "e]P9982b2b" #red
echo -en "e]P25b762f" #darkgreen
echo -en "e]PA89b83f" #green
echo -en "e]P3aa9943" #brown
echo -en "e]PBefef60" #yellow
echo -en "e]P4324c80" #darkblue
echo -en "e]PC2b4f98" #blue
echo -en "e]P5706c9a" #darkmagenta
echo -en "e]PD826ab1" #magenta
echo -en "e]P692b19e" #darkcyan
echo -en "e]PEa1cdcd" #cyan
echo -en "e]P7ffffff" #lightgrey
echo -en "e]PFdedede" #white
clear #hmm, yeah we need this or else we get funky background collisions
fi

Yeah, it’s confusing, I know… however, these are console escapes specific to the linux console. As with all escape codes, it begins with a little prefix indicating what the escape is actually doing: in this case “\e]P”, which is the “set color” escape.

The format for the data is “XRRGGBB” where X is the number of the color to modify (in hex). This is a standard 16 color notation, which I have commented above. The colors above are taken verbatim from my ~/.Xdefaults file, with “color0″ converted to “\e]P0″ and “color16″ converted to “\e]PF”.

Note the last ‘clear’. If you set these colors without clearing the terminal, the background color will change (assuming ‘color0′ changed) only for new text. You will get odd artifacting.

Here is a screenshot of my current, non-X setup, using the terminus consolefont (ter-112n) and the above colors. Enjoy!

by phrakture at March 22, 2006 06:18 PM

March 20, 2006

Official News

Kernel 2.6.16 - modularized capability

Posted by Judd on March 20, 2006: Hey all, Some people have requested that we move the default linux capability support to a module so that it can be replaced with other capability models. There's a catch though -- now that the capability stuff is modularized, it needs to be loaded before some daemons can be used (eg, vsftpd). We can help by having the rc.d scripts load the module, but some people will use xinetd for these daemons, so they'll have to manually load the module from somewhere (rc.local would work). This change will come with the 2.6.16 kernel, so please be aware.

March 20, 2006 05:00 AM

Server Migration Complete!

Posted by Judd on March 20, 2006: Thanks to everyone's generous donations, Dale was able to purchase a nice shiny Dell server, which archlinux.org is now running on! I've migrated all our services over, but may have missed a thing or two.... If you notice any weirdness, please let me know (judd@arch). Thanks!

March 20, 2006 05:00 AM

March 19, 2006

Official News

New Newsletter for March 19th

Posted by Jason on March 19, 2006: Today marks the day of a new newsletter. Read it and rejoice! Current: http://archlinux.org/~jason/newsletters/newsletter-2006-Mar-19.html Archive: http://archlinux.org/~jason/newsletters/

March 19, 2006 05:00 AM

March 17, 2006

Aegis Project

Sadly...no more anonymous comments

Due to spam I have had to disable anonymous comments. Please register if you wish to post comments or forum posts.

March 17, 2006 05:55 AM

March 16, 2006

Aegis Project

Development Bottle Neck

As you should all know AEGIS is entirely dependent upon the integrity of the Archie live-CD. Development of Archie has taken a bit of a down turn recently and so I have not really been able to make a new release. However, I am trying to stay up to date with the regular pkgs and the next ISO release should be something pretty special!

March 16, 2006 01:14 AM

March 15, 2006

Aaron Griffin

The Re-re-design Archlinux Contest(TM)

Starting now, I’m holding a contest for a redesign of the Archlinux website. Very few of us are actually visually inclined, so those of you that are, this is your chance to contribute in a way hundreds of people will use every day.

NOTE: This is currently UNOFFICIAL.

NOTE 2: This is a visual design contest only - don’t worry about code, or xhtml strict compliance or things like that - that can all be worked out in the future.

The contest rules:

Archlinux Front Page Archlinux User Repository Archlinux Forums
What you will get:

Feel free to ask any questions you need here or in the above thread Please email all submissions to me - in screenshot or html form. mailto - aaron m griffin at gmail dot com

by phrakture at March 15, 2006 07:08 PM

March 14, 2006

Philip Dillon-Thiselton

Basic Instinct 2 Poster

I saw a poster today for the new Basic Instinct 2 movie (new in the UK at least). The poster depicts Sharon Stone in a Christine Keeler -esque posture with the title of the movie between her legs.

What's that all about? As if anyone could forget that the original Basic Instinct was all about Sharon's vagina. Maybe they just want to promise more of the same...but then 15 (or however many years later) do we really want to see more of the same?! Surely a DVD rental could satisfy the curiosity of most....

March 14, 2006 11:58 AM

Jason Chu

Video Archive/Index

Today, at karate, we taped people doing kata (forms) and then watched it. We do this every so often so we can see what we're doing to what we think we're doing.

This time I had trouble focusing on anyone's kata. Instead I was forming this idea.

While we do record katas and we can watch them later on VHS, rarely do we have access to older videos. If your tape was recorded over, it's gone. If you don't make a copy (which is time consuming for both Kyoshi and you), you'll never see it again.

I wonder if there would be value in having regular recording sessions of kata, sparring, and one step. They could be archived and indexed by date, kata, rank, and people. Then people could get videos (DVDs) of themselves over a period of time, or different people doing the same kata, or all the videos over a time period.

We could have videos up on the website for people to download and learn from.

Eventually (assuming I do this and it becomes popular), you could set up multiple cameras to track someone and record DVDs with multiple angles on them. That way you'd always be able to see the front (or back) of someone.

The more I think about it, the more I think it'd be a good idea even if I didn't make any money off of it. My only problem is that I'm lacking a camera... too bad I don't have enough money to just go out and buy one.

March 14, 2006 07:23 AM

March 11, 2006

Andrew Roberts

Spore

I’m not a huge gamer. I like games, but I’m not very good at them and so I tend to only play them for a little while (whilst the difficulty is low!) Fortunately, my brother works for a game retailer and he sends me many of his “old” games (he’s very good gamer and finishes things within hours). Anyway, the point is that I sort of like games, but they’re not a big deal, but then I saw Spore
Spore is essentially a game that simulates the process of evolution. You start off life as a simple cell, searching for food sources, avoiding parasites, etc and it’s all very 2D. When you reproduce, you “edit” the next generation by making changes and then moving on. Eventually you become more complex and the world becomes 3D. It all sounds a bit weird but it looks very smart.
A great presentation can be found here. There’s also a good entry already in Wikipedia, even though the game hasn’t been released.

I’m still intrigued about how they will ensure that the player remains “hooked” because it does have the potential to get a bit stale. However, I’m hugely impressed at the vision of the game and it seems like it will really pull it off.

by arooaroo at March 11, 2006 08:52 PM

March 08, 2006

Andrew Roberts

LOTR

I’m enjoying a week off at the moment. Daytime TV is so dire that you are forced to delve into your DVD collection. I have quite a few, and my collection includes all three extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I must be a real fan, right? Well, no, actually.

I bought the first (Fellowship) on a whim because my girlfriend thought I’d like it (for some reason she thinks that because I’m into computing, I must like sci-fi/fantasy!). The film wasn’t that good but what I enjoyed a lot was the two discs of extras which come with the extended editions. They were really great and very interesting - I personally enjoyed them more than the films, and ended up buying the other two films purely on the stength of the extras (sucker!)
Yesterday, I watched Return of the King. I saw it at the cimema when it was released, but this was the first time I watched the extended version. My gawd, is it me or did that film last for about three days?!? Yawn.

How come no ones’ facial hair gets longer throughout these films?

by arooaroo at March 08, 2006 01:57 PM

Judd Vinet

Wines and Weddings

Well, we all survived Grant and Lola's wedding, but barely. Very little sleep and brain-damaging amounts of wine, but what can you expect when you have an open bar reception at a winery?

The ceremony itself was just beautiful. Grant and Lola wrote their own vows, which were so riddled with passion and profundity that everyone was in tears by the end. But they were quickly washed away by dancing, wine, a wonderful three-course meal, an open mic, and overtones of love and romance.

I played some gee-i-tar before the ceremony began, and it actually worked out. Fearing that the Shy would overwhelm me, I just closed my eyes and pretended that I was alone in a room. Well, gosh, it worked. Of course, the acoustics in the pyramid were perfectly suited to amplify all the mistakes I was making, but no one threw anything at me, so that was cool.

Worst part? The airline managed to wreck the guitar on the way home. Great. Just lovely. I'm glad I brought a cheap one and not a 'spensive one.

Grant and Lola are now up-island in Ucluelet, celebrating their matrimony and recuperating from all the pre-wedding stress crap that people have to (but shouldn't have to) deal with.

I loves them both. Best wishes forever and then some, guys.

March 08, 2006 11:00 AM

March 04, 2006

Jason Chu

Downhill Week

Last week, if you'd asked me how I was doing, I would have said, "Yeah, I'm alright. Apart from my healing thumb, I'm doing pretty well."

This week, if you ask me how I'm doing, I'd say, "On top of my healing thumb, I'm getting over a cold, have a broken toe, and a girlfriend that's mad at me."

I'm really starting to wonder what I did wrong this week. Maybe I just should have stayed in bed. All week.

March 04, 2006 01:07 AM

March 02, 2006

Aaron Griffin

The wonders of sample code

Messing around on reddit.com I cam across the following link: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/02/15/532708.aspx

Please take a look at the ’sample code’ provided by Microsoft emloyees. Sometimes I wonder if these people even listen to the complaints of the web development community.

At least the commenter named ‘Alex’ got it… sheesh.

Lower case tags. 1995 called, they want their back!

by phrakture at March 02, 2006 10:53 PM

Raising Eyebrows: DB Abstraction sucks

From the title you can probably tell where this post is going. I know a few people who swear by things such as SQLObject or RoR’s ActiveRecord, or whatever else there is out there. Let me sum up my point in one nicely bulleted list:

Ok, so standard’s compliance isn’t reason enough for you people to not reinvent the wheel. What about the fact that your wheel isn’t round? Not one of the common object-data models out there supports everything that SQL can do (Note, there are a few decent ones for Java I’ve seen in my day). You need to understand that SQL is not an optional part of a RDBMS, it’s required by the standard, it will be there - yes, even in Microsoft SQL Server (which has slightly better standard support than some other DBs, as far as SQL:2003 is concerned).

Now, you may question “But if my [insert name of some abstraction layer] doesn’t support everything, and SQL is already a standard, why did someone invent this to begin with?” And, frankly, that’s my question as well. One thing these developers tend to forget is that developers in these sort of roles already know how to write SQL. It’s much the same as people developing XML parsers - you need to know most of the rules of XML in order to do it right. You will not find a single developer who has written or even consumed an XML parser who doesn’t know the basic XML rules. Likewise, you will be hardpressed to find a developer for some data-driven application who doesn’t know how to write an inner join, or a ‘create table’ statement.

This sort of thing should not be abstracted. Syntactic sugar is fine if you need it, but abstracting away a ‘create table’ statement to creating an instance of a class is asinine. You can corollary this to the actual output of HTML for some of these apps - most of them will give you ‘button’ objects and ‘label’ objects, and in general things that map to HTML tags, yet the basic rules and properties still follow those defined by HTML.

For another interesting example, I’d like to point out something people don’t always think about.  Schemas change.  Database layouts evolve.  Take your massive SQLObject project and now, add a column to TableA that maps to the LookupB table for the value.  And add this without skipping a beat.  Oh, and while you’re adding it, if TableA has a value of 1 in ColumnX, the new column needs to have a value of 3.  I should probably note that the described example is a trivial SQL ‘alter’ statement.  Yes, it requires changes to your front-end code, it always does, there’s no way around it (portably), but both the SQLObject version and the non-abstraction version requires changes to the front-end. For an example of what I mean, take a look here. SQLAlchemy is the only promising data access layer I’ve seen recently. The fact of the matter is that it does not hide SQL from you. In fact, it is really just a layer that helps generate the SQL in python syntax.

I know SQL, I’m fine with it. In fact, I prefer it to some odd abstraction layer. I would rather not learn your random API for data access that you created for your special needs.

by phrakture at March 02, 2006 07:08 PM

Back in Business

alright, everything should be moved over to dreamhost now. Not everything is fully setup, but I’m trying to replace what I had with some better options - but the going is slow.

Right now, I simply replicated my wordpress install here, but I’m probably changing blog software - I’ve been taking a peek at python-based blog setups, but none seem all that promising. I am also trying to find a good image gallery (maybe cactus and I should write something, heh) and a decent rss reader…. sigh over to freshmeat.

by phrakture at March 02, 2006 04:41 PM

Dev Blog

New server & web system!

User-contributions.org has moved to a new server. At the same time made a change in the website system, now running in WordPress.

Check out here
(if server not found reload the page, to search for the new nameserver)

by rasat at March 02, 2006 11:10 AM

Jason Chu

Biphasic Sleep Experiment: Failure

Well, about two weeks ago, I gave up on the whole biphasic thing. I started dreading getting up when my alarm went off. I really couldn't exist off of 4.5 hours sleep a night. Maybe I'll start again later, but I think there's something I was missing (I read somewhere that you have to almost give up meat... but that's not going to happen).

I just figured I'd give everyone a heads up, considering that everyone has been asking me about it.

March 02, 2006 04:57 AM

February 27, 2006

Andrew Roberts

Colour chooser

Is this the coolest colour chooser you’ve ever seen?

This is part of Kirill Grouchnikov’s excellent Substance LAF. Substance goes beyond the usual look and feel implementations, as it also provides components like this. I’ve become a recent convert to this LAF because of how easy it is to customise it, and I can’t wait for an opportunity to include this chooser too - it’s darn cool!

by arooaroo at February 27, 2006 08:50 PM

February 26, 2006

Andrew Roberts

JAlphabet

Blimey, it’s been a while. Well, I’ve been rather busy (who isn’t?!?). I’ve had a paper accepted for a journal (which is a first for me), a paper at an international conference, and a couple of papers accepted at various conference workshops. For me, a lot of it revolves around a Arabic language processing, and a program I’ve started called aConCorde. The problem is, I don’t speak Arabic! Whilst it hasn’t hindered me so far, it’s something I’d really like to do. The first hurdle for me has been simply getting to grips with the completely new alphabet. Although I have a book, and there are many web pages with the alphabet, I wanted something to test me, and that’s why I started making a simple little app called JAlphabet.

It’s still rather rusty at the moment, which is why I’ve not actually released any code yet. But the main screen looks a little like this:

Yep, it’s another one of those pesky Java apps that I can’t stop myself from writing! However, like with Jacman, I don’t want to produce apps with the standard Java aethestics. This is clearly borrowing from Apple, with a brushed metal theme. I think it looks great, over all. What you can’t see is the fade in/out effects when you hover over a button. Of course, I didn’t do all the hardwork myself - I’ve made use of an excellent, and very flexible, Java Look ‘n’ Feel called Substance. I’m not saying my interface is perfect at the moment, but I think it’s basically there and only needs some tweaks (like window and font sizes).
Anyway, it’s very nice that I can test my grasp of the Arabic alphabet, but then came a recent challange at work where, for reasons I can’t disclose, it would be advantagous if I could understand a little bit of Japanese - or at least grasp which of the many Japanese alphabets a given word is written in. So, I’ve just started to abstract the code a little so it becomes a generic tester for any language to care to supply:

I’m currently writing a new intro screen where you get to select the language/alphabet that you wish to test. There is a basic summary screen at the end when you finish the test (or click Finish) which tells you your score and displays the items you got right and wrong. This too needs some more work, but it’s generally it’s there. Hopefully I’ll get to release the first version sometime this week.

by arooaroo at February 26, 2006 07:03 PM

Aaron Griffin

trackbacks?

cactus enabled trackbacks!

http://e.cactuswax.net/articles/2006/02/24/trackbacks

by phrakture at February 26, 2006 03:40 AM

February 24, 2006

Roberto Carvajal

hardware failure

Just when I wanted to help a little bit with Arch development, my hard disk failed, nevermind, shit happens.. I tried again, did a fresh install and everything ran smooth for about a week, two nights ago when I wanted to build a few pkg updates I noticed I couln't ...

February 24, 2006 06:30 PM

upgrading.. finally!

All right!! all set.. finally I managed to recover my HD, did a fresh install and now I started working on some flagged pkgs. But hell, I love my mac and there is absolutly no need to stop working on my mac in order to do some ArchLinux work, so basically.. ...

February 24, 2006 06:30 PM

i’m back

I'm sorry for my lack of work/commitment that I'd showed up lately.. A lot had happened since I stopped working on the project actively.. Well then, enough of that, I'm back for good, did a fresh install and trying to catch up as much as I can, seriously! I hope you can ...

February 24, 2006 06:30 PM

February 22, 2006

Aaron Griffin

Some news

First off, I’m moving to dreamhost, so expect some hiccups over the next few days. I’ll move to a clean wordpress blog, but will be switching blog software, most likely (I’m thinking textpattern right now).

Secondly, MP3 TOILET!!!

by phrakture at February 22, 2006 05:02 PM

February 21, 2006

Dev Blog

Tiny Arch Live CD

There’s a new Arch-based Live CD out there called Minimax, which is kinda cool.

http://www.kotek.net/minimax/

It’s very small (32mb) and all console-based. But it does include a lot of useful utilities and could be a handy little rescue CD. It also comes with the Arch installer, so you can use it as a very small FTP install CD.

by judd at February 21, 2006 08:36 PM

February 20, 2006

Aaron Griffin

I hate blogging software

I’ve been looking around at different alternatives to wordpress.  Can’t seem to find anything I like.  Wordpress is just so - over the top.  Textpattern looks interesting, but seems like it’s a bit to much work to get things moving… I’ll keep looking.  Until then, if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to let me know.

by phrakture at February 20, 2006 07:21 AM

February 18, 2006

Dev Blog

Conky is great!

When I was searching for new configs (features and plugins) for FVWM, came across Conky - a light-weight system monitor. No windows but directly displaying the information at desktop. First I thought its only to monitor CPU, RAM and space in file-systems, but it does much more. Any text can be used. Download web site information with Lynx, parse, and run Conky.

This screenshots shows the following information:
- System monitor
- Weather report
- Arch Linux recent package updates
- AUR recent package updates

Click here

by rasat at February 18, 2006 05:53 PM

February 17, 2006

Michael Cacek

Terrible Days

I’m having a terrible time lately.  This is how I feel…

by medicated at February 17, 2006 06:28 AM

February 16, 2006

Jason Chu

Biphasic Sleep Experiment Day 7 + 1

I meant to post yesterday night but didn't have time.

For those who are late in the game, here's my original post: http://xentac.net/~jchu/blog/life/biphasic-sleep-experiment-day-1.html

Today is day 8 of the biphasic sleep experiment and I have a nice pretty^H^H^H^H^H^Hwell-organized table.

DaySleep hours
Feb 7th4.5
Feb 8th8.5
Feb 9th4.5
Feb 10th7.5
Feb 11th6
Feb 12th7.5
Feb 13th4.5
Feb 14th4.5
Feb 15th4.5*
* prediction

As you can see, there have been 4 days out of 8 that I didn't get my desired 4.5 hours sleep. Part of it was because I was visiting Alice's family in Vancouver and couldn't exactly bow out just to have my 9:30 nap.

Feb 8th I slept through my alarm and the 12th I went to bed too late for the wake time to be significant.

I do have an extra couple hours to work with now and I'm only minimally tired. The tiredness I felt during the day in the beginning is almost all gone. My only hurdle now is the transition from asleep to awake. I'm not exactly groggy or all that tired, but my body wants to go on to the next sleep stage. Hopefully this gets more managable.

I read that some people had to take on an almost vegan diet to be able to sleep bisphasically, but I'm happy to announce that I'm still very much a meat eater.

February 16, 2006 09:00 AM

February 14, 2006

Dev Blog

udev user headache

Hi
ok i have written a little howto about all recent changes and how to avoid to step into traps new udev might cause for you.
Stay tuned for it, atm some people will read it for error correction.
Hope to publish it tomorrow via a frontpage news. Then i hope all understand how the new system works.
greetings
tpowa

by tpowa at February 14, 2006 05:05 PM

Philip Dillon-Thiselton

Political Compass

Following in Simo's footsteps I did the political compass test and here is my result.

I thought I would much nearer the centre - I certainly thought many of my answers were very un-Ghandi like but there we go...

You can try yourself here

February 14, 2006 05:42 AM

Just in case you have been under a rock...

I currently have no internet access from my box. My personal repo and most of my TU pkg are therefore "on hold". I will update them when I get the chance but that may not be for some time I'm afraid. Please do report them out of date tho!

February 14, 2006 05:38 AM

February 09, 2006

Jason Chu

Biphasic Sleep Experiment - Day 1

Today is the first day of my biphasic sleep experiment.

For those that don't know what biphasic sleep is, it's where you break up your sleep into two parts (as opposed to the standard monophasic sleep). By doing this, and waking at the right point of your sleep cycle, you can (apparently) function normally off of 4.5 hours of sleep a night.

Usually you sleep 90 minutes sometime during the day and 3 hours sometime in the evening. I decided to put mine both in the evening, once around 9:30 or 10:00 till 11:00 or 11:30, and once from 3 till 6.

Waking at the right point in your sleep cycle really helps. While I was still kinda tired, I definitely didn't feel groggy or lethargic, just a little headachey (I get that sometimes when I have a lack of sleep...).

Today I'm definitely not feeling how I normally feel, but I'm not all that bad either. It, at least, warrents an attempt.

My goal is to keep it going for a month. If I'm able to function normally and get even more done because of the extra 3 hours I'm awake, then I'll continue it for as long as I can. If I can't adjust to the change, I'm off this thing.

Wish me luck.

February 09, 2006 12:00 AM

February 07, 2006

Jason Chu

CRIA: Do what I say, not what I do

Catching up on feeds. Saw this post: http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/1899.

Apparently the CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association) president, Graham Henderson, is saying that a blanket licensing scheme for all music (one that's open, that is) would mean "Sovietization" of the industry. I wonder if the people who made sheet music said that statutory licensing was "sovietizing" the industry back when Mr. Henderson's ilk were making recordings their works...

I find it disturbing that it's ok if they do it to someone else, just as long as no one is allowed to do it to them.

February 07, 2006 07:09 AM

February 03, 2006

Jason Chu

Censorship as a non-tariff barrier to trade

The Digital Copyright Canada Blog has a blurb about the difference between physical trade exclusions and informational trade exclusions. Stictly speaking, they're no different, but no one seems to think like that.

February 03, 2006 05:05 PM

January 28, 2006

Jason Chu

Nettwerk Music Group Defending Artists

Usually you see a headline like that and it effectively means, "Music company sues customers for liking music", but this time, Nettwerk Music Group is actually defending the accused. Terry McBride, CEO of Nettwerk Music Group (not to be confused with that other McBride), says, "The current actions of the RIAA are not in my artists' best interests", and, "Litigation is not 'artist development.' Litigation is a deterrent to creativity and passion and it is hurting the business I love".

I believe this is a music company that finally understands that it's not the spoon that bends.

I wholeheartedly suggest everyone go to Nettwerk's web site (even though it has some annoying flash music; the option is in the top bar to turn it off), find out what bands these guys support and buy some CDs. A preliminary list includes Avril Lavigne, Barenaked Ladies, Brand New, Dido, Guster, Sum 41, Sarah McLachlan, and Swollen Members.

To give some context, it's been about 4-6 years since I've bought physical CDs except Nine Inch Nails and maybe Dave Matthews Band (and the occasional CD from a show). I still pay for music online, but I buy from companies that don't suck. I fully expect to go out to a store today and buy at least 2 CDs published by the Nettwerk Music Group. I'm an idealist who supports companies who agree with me.

January 28, 2006 08:29 PM

Dev Blog

udev 083 headache is over

Hi
after 5 days of work (lots of headaches included) me proudly presents udev 083 with cdsymlinking :)
arch is now the first distro with latest udev and working symlinks.
kernel 2.6.15 is now definitly needed, again added quite some stuff, go ahead and test it that we can move it in soon.
Hope udev devs doesn’t change too much in the future.
thanks
greetings from Mr. Udev
tpowa

by tpowa at January 28, 2006 04:03 PM

mono back on the way?

After some painful weeks with mono it seems that moving around all the files and omitting the MONO_PATH shows some success. There is a version 0.9 of monodevelop in “testing” that I label as “works for me”. Everybody is invited to test it and tell me if it also works for you.

by neri at January 28, 2006 04:49 AM

Jason Chu

1 Month, No Blog

Well, it's been a month since I last posted. Lately I've been super busy with Oprius. So much so that I've not been doing a whole lot other than working and spending time with my girlfriend.

I'm seriously considering whether or not I have enough time to keep up blogging and, more importantly, if I have enough will to continue writing. Lately I've been spending a lot of time thinking about life and wondering how much people actually want to hear about mine.

So really, I'm curious what everyone else thinks. Should I keep up this blog thing that I've been doing for the past (almost) 3 years? Or should I give it up because I'm not actually contributing to anything, just adding to the noise?

PS: Now I'm curious exactly how much writing I've done these past three years. Let's see some statistics:

January 28, 2006 01:00 AM