General

For not folding a blog

Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 06/29/2006 - 12:15
MJRay started my posting in his blog why he is going to fold his feed (send only the first paragraph or so in the RSS feed instead of the full text). Wouter, Phillip, JoeyH, Noodles, have expressed why they don't like the idea. So I'll just have to <AOL>ME TOO!</AOL> Folds are nice for news feeds, where you want to quickly gaze at the headlines and just open the articles that are worth something, great. (BTW, I hate when Barrapunto or Cofradía send only the title, not the whole first block. Too little information to judge!) But for personal blogs, for following friends' lives and opinions, it's... Just torture.
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Fractional sleep

Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 06/19/2006 - 17:49
How cool is this? [code="ruby"] if pid=fork while true puts "#{Time.now.sec}: I'm the slow #{Process.pid}, parent of #{pid}" sleep 1 end else while true puts "#{Time.now.sec}: I'm the fast #{Process.pid}, child of #{Process.ppid}" sleep 1.0/3 end end [/code] What do I get?
18: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 18: I'm the slow 9899, parent of 9900 18: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 19: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 19: I'm the slow 9899, parent of 9900 19: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 19: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 20: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 20: I'm the slow 9899, parent of 9900 20: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899 20: I'm the fast 9900, child of 9899
And for those of you not familiar with sleep(3), what is so cool about this? Simple: The prototype for sleep in almost any language is: [code="c"] #include unsigned int sleep(unsigned int seconds); [/code] (note the unsigned int part?) Even the Perl documentation clearly says, being compliant with the rest of the world:
For delays of finer granularity than one second, you may use Perl's "syscall" interface to access setitimer(2) if your system supports it, or else see "select" above. The Time::HiRes module (from CPAN, and starting from Perl 5.8 part of the standard distribution) may also help.
But... Well, in this case I just loved the Ruby way: If it does not hurt to cause surprises, then don't cause them! Keep a simple, portable definition, that will work with seconds or with fractions! Why not?
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More != better

Submitted by gwolf on Fri, 06/02/2006 - 18:38
This is the time of year when most Free Software-related conferences in Mexico have their calls for papers. /lists.consol.org.mx/pipermail/consol/2006-May/006443.html">send my proposal by mail, and I do hope it gets in the official program - For sentimental reasons more than anything else ;-) CONSOL is, after all, still my baby!). Yesterday I had to come up with something, as CICOL's deadline was also hanging upon me. Now my attention has been brought towards FSL, for which I still have almost one month to think. And, of course, although at other times of year (but, of course, still clashing with other conferences) we will not have one, but three instances of GULEV this year.. WTF? Mexico's Free Software community is a small and not too productive one, as most communities in our (culturally defined) continent, Latin America. And yes, conferences are quite fun, it's always nice to go to a nice place and meet your friends. But we must not forget the real motivation for them all: The academic program. We currently have four conferences that try to reach to the same audience (yes, in different places of the country, but all of them with a national scope). And if you compare the list of proposed talks (visible currently for three of them), you will see there is no real difference between the set of talks on them. Please explain me, what kind of incentive does this give to anybody to attend? Just to hang out with the friends, entering a talk here and there? I ended up submitting the same talks for both CONSOL and CICOL, as running Debconf didn't leave me time to prepare or think over anything - That's not what I like to do, and I hope I can be a bit more creative with the topics for FSL. There is no published criteria yet on what will be the focus for (each of the) GULEV, so I'm not committing yet to them. And yes, being a very active Free Software promoter in my country, I try to be present everywhere - but of course, everything has a limit. I will most probably not skip CONSOL (as it is on the city I live, and it is the one I am most sentimentally attached to) or CICOL (as it is just 1hr south from here)... But I'm still uncertain if I'll be at FSL or any of the GULEVs. Back on my initial questioning, anyway: Do we need four perfectly equivalent conferences in this country? Besides ego clashes, wouldn't we be best served if we had only one or two big conferences a year?
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Hot

Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 04/20/2006 - 09:48
Ok, the time has come: Now I work with my 20" fan on. Lucky me, my office has no windows, it's in the middle of the building - A bit cold in the Winter, but that's OK with me... But the people with real windows have been sweating for some weeks already. Well, design details of a 50 year old building which cannot be moved :) Anyway... For people coming to Debconf: Be prepared for hot weather. April-May is Central Mexico's hottest season. For Mexico City, it means we have reached 30 Celsius, and will probably reach them again a couple of times (this week's forecast says we will be under 28, which is good news)... But for the Oaxtepec region (the closest cities are Cuautla and Yautepec) we are reaching 33-35 Celsius every day. By May, we will have the first scheduled rains (although this has been a rainy Spring, but still, it's formally the dry season), so I hope it will not be _that_ bad... But be prepared to sweat.
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On Daylight Savings Time

Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 04/03/2006 - 19:24
Joey Hess blogs about possible dangerous ways to exploit the daylight savings time. Well, for the tenth year in a row (if I am not mistaken), we central-Mexicans can proudly announce we are GMT-5. When I was a kid, we were always told that daylight savings are a very important way to save energy in non-tropical areas, such as the North-Western states, USA, Canada and Europe. We understood that, as tropical beings, we didn't have to worry about that, as it would have neglegible effects for us. Ten years (eleven?) ago, this changed, and we became first-class world citizens, together with the emotion of shifting the clock's hands twice a year. Of course, we all did stupid things once or thrice - The first time we got back to GMT-6, I moved to GMT-4 instead. We were laughing at the fools who forgot to move the watch. I went to the movies with Nadezhda, and was confronted by a less-than-amused clerk that had to explain the same to too many people along the day. At least he smiled when he noticed we were stupider than most. Well, today I am a big fan of daylight savings. I simply like having sunlight up to 20:00, sometimes even 21:00 - But I have reversed the old logic I was taught at school. We Mexicans have very little variation in our clocks - We go from maybe 11 to maybe 13 hours of daylight comparing Summer and Winter. Ok, make it 10 and 14, to make it sound more dramatic. Having the sun raise at 6AM makes sense, no matter what time of year it is. Most electricity is spent in the early night (8-10PM)... So it makes a lot of sense. Even for the people in the USA, maybe even Canada, and most of Europe. But... Why do Nordic countries adhere to daylight savings? I mean... You vary from 4 to 20 hours of sunlight a day - What difference does one hour make anyway? Why follow the hassle we all regular humans have to go through? I can't imagine people in Narvik and Rovaniemi trying to squeeze that little glimpse of sun they have during the winter, and trying to align their sleeping time to the exact the sun is only half-visible in Summer.
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'Delete' as in 'Leave it hidden'

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 09/14/2005 - 09:56
I am quite happy: I found a 256MB memory stick card for ~US$60, so I just ran to buy it. Since then, I have been much more active with my camera, of course. I was baffled, though, last Sunday, when after only (!) 170 (1 megapixel) photos I got a memory stick full message. WTF? Well, we have been using Nadezhda's iMac to move the photos to our server's album - I don't like iPhoto, I prefer moving them to the destination directory. And, as the memory stick is a full RW filesystem (unlike the camera's internal memory, that can only be mounted read-only), I just told MacOS to trash them. Silly me: I assumed that having a plain old FAT filesystem, this would mean what I told it to - Nope. It just means 'create a /.Trash directory and move everything in there'. Of course, the /.Trash isn't viewable by MacOS' finder. It also stays hidden when doing a simple 'ls'. The camera does not report it, as it is outside its universe (/DCIM). Bah.
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I would happily tell you...

Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 08/22/2005 - 19:37
...that Panama or Oaxtepec have negative amounts of mosquitoes, but then again, I prefer not to register in livejournal just to post a stupid note :)
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Power failures and Gaim

Submitted by gwolf on Sat, 06/04/2005 - 15:17
We have had quite a few power failures lately in my area of the town, both at home and at my building in the University (which is kind of logical, as we are so close). Power failures tend to happen at the worst possible time - Yes, I know that basically any journalling filesystem will assure the disk integrity is right even if the last information written got lost. Which has happened to me quite a few times. Some weeks ago, we had the power failure in the middle of an aptitude operation. Darn, I lost /var/lib/aptitude/pkgstates and /var/lib/dpkg/available - Not too much hassle to re-create them, so no too much damage done - but, yes, it made me lose some time and temper. Now, fortunately I don't have Aptitude running all the time - those important files are rarely touched. However, there are some programs I am running basically all the time. One of them is Gaim - And it is the only one that continuously suffers from such disasters. Every time I lose power, .gaim/blist.xml gets lost. And _that_ is quite annoying - No critical information is recorded there, only my contact list. And fortunately, contact lists are now saved server-side on most protocols I use Gaim for (yes, I do use Gaim for IRC - I am rarely connected to any channels, so I don't suffer its lacking interface too much). But I do have important information there - For example, the real name of people. I hate that habit of the MSN crowd of just changing their alias as if it were some kind of useless blob - effectively, turning it into an useless blob. Thank the Gaim people for letting me override that... But it is _very_ frustrating to be forced to group them all together again according to my style and finding out who the hell is each of them. Yesterday, I lost it. Twice. Well... as of now, .gaim/blist.xml lives on my CVS tree. I am not yet convinced to take all of my home into version control (basically because I am too disorganized), but files that are written to in such an unorderly manner do deserve being in a safe place.
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On-topicness

Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 05/03/2005 - 20:43
Up until today, I had never thought we had to stay on topic in Planet Debian. All those messages regarding Ian's postings made me quite sour - and quite surprised. Scott, have you ever received a complaint regarding my Mexican political rantings? I doubt so. No, this is not a message against anyone... But, seriously, what could have made 80 people get pissed at Progeny's stuff given we all share what we think as important in here? Isn't Progeny important for many DDs? And even if it wasn't, does it harm anybody to see it there?
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