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Gunnar Wolf - Nice grey life

Showing posts 1 – 10

I do have a full face
I have been a bearded subject since I was 18, back in 1994. Yes, during 1999-2000, I shaved for my military service, and I briefly tried the goatee look in 2008… Few people nowadays can imagine my face without a forest of hair. But sometimes, life happens. And, unlike my good friend Bdale, I didn’t get Linus to do the honors… But, all in all, here I am: Turns out, I have been suffering from quite bad skin infections for a couple of years already. Last Friday, I checked in to the hospital, with an ugly, swollen face (I won’t...

Using a RPi as a display adapter
Almost ten months ago, I mentioned on this blog I bought an ARM laptop, which is now my main machine while away from home — a Lenovo Yoga C630 13Q50. Yes, yes, I am still not as much away from home as I used to before, as this pandemic is still somewhat of a thing, but I do move more. My main activity in the outside world with my laptop is teaching. I teach twice a week, and… well, having a display for my slides and for showing examples in the terminal and such is a must. However, as I...

How is the free firmware for the Raspberry progressing?
Raspberry Pi computers require a piece of non-free software to boot — the infamous raspi-firmware package. But for almost as long as there has been a Raspberry Pi to talk of (this year it turns 10 years old!), there have been efforts to get it to boot using only free software. How is it progressing? Michael Bishop (IRC user clever) explained today in the #debian-raspberrypi channel in OFTC that it advances far better than what I expected: It is even possible to boot a usable system under the RPi2 family! Just… There is somewhat incomplete hardware support: For his testing,...

Long, long, long live Emacs after 39 years
Reading Planet Debian (see, Sam, we are still having a conversation over there? 😉), I read Anarcat’s 20+ years of Emacs. And.. Well, should I brag contribute to the discussion? Of course, why not? Emacs is the first computer program I can name that I ever learnt to use to do something minimally useful. 39 years ago. From the Space Cadet keyboard that (obviously…) influenced Emacs’ early design The Emacs editor was born, according to Wikipedia, in 1976, same year as myself. I am clearly not among its first users. It was already a well-established citizen when I first learnt...

Speaking about the OpenPGP WoT on LibrePlanet this Saturday
So, LibrePlanet, the FSF’s conference, is coming! I much enjoyed attending this conference in person in March 2018. This year I submitted a talk again, and it got accepted — of course, given the conference is still 100% online, I doubt I will be able to go 100% conference-mode (I hope to catch a couple of other talks, but… well, we are all eager to go back to how things were before 2020!) Anyway, what is my talk about? My talk is titled Current challenges for the OpenPGP keyserver network. Is there a way forward?. The abstract I submitted follows:...

Got to boot a RPi Zero 2 W with Debian
About a month ago, I got tired of waiting for the newest member of the Raspberry product lineup to be sold in Mexico, and I bought it from a Chinese reseller through a big online shopping platform. I paid quite a bit of premium (~US$85 instead of the advertised US$15), and got it delivered ten days later… Anyway, it’s known this machine does not yet boot mainline Linux. The vast majority of ARM systems require the bootloader to load a Device Tree file, presenting the hardware characteristics map. And while the RPi Zero 2 W (hey… what an awful and...

Progvis — Now in Debian proper! (unstable)
Progvis finally made it into Debian! What is it, you ask? It is a great tool to teach about memory management and concurrency. I first saw progvis in the poster presentation his author, Filip Strömbäck, did last year at the 52nd ACM Technical Sympossium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE), immediately recognizing it as a tool I wanted to use at my classes, and being it free software, make it available for all interested Debian users. Quoting from Progvis’ Web page: This is a program visualization tool aimed at concurrent programs and related issues. The tool itself is mostly language agnostic,...

For our millionth bug, bookworms eat raspberries alive
I guess you already heard, right? The Debian Bug Tracking System has hit a big milestone! We just passed our one millionth bug report! (and yes, that’s a cause for celebration; bug reporting is probably the best way for the system to grow and improve) So, to celebrate, I want to announce I have nudged our unofficial Raspberry Pi images build scripts to now also build images for our upcoming Debian release, Debian 12 «Bookworm» (image above: A bookworm learns about raspberries in various stages of testing. Image sources: Transformers Wiki, CC BY-SA and Sam Saunders at Flickr, CC BY-SA)...

raspi.debian.net now hosted on Debian infrastructure
So, since I registered the URL for serving the unofficial Debian images for the Raspberry computers, raspi.debian.net, in April 2020, I had been hosting it in my Dreamhost webspace. Over two years ago –yes, before I finished setting it up in Dreamhost– Steve McIntyre approached me and invited me to host the images under the Debian cdimages user group. I told him I’d first just get the setup running, and later I would approach him for finalizing the setup. Then, I set up the build on my own server, hosted on my Dreamhost account… and forgot about it for many...

New book out! «Mecanismos de privacidad y anonimato en redes, una visión transdisciplinaria»
Three years ago, I organized a fun and most interesting colloquium at Facultad de Ingeniería, UNAM about privacy and anonymity online. I would have loved to share this earlier with the world, but… The university’s processes are quite slow (and, to be fair, I also took quite a bit of time to push things through). But today, I’m finally happy to share the result of that work with all of you. We managed to get 11 of the talks in the colloquium as articles. The back-cover text reads (in Spanish): We live in an era where human to human interactions...


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