Stuff I have written/presented
Submitted by gwolf on Sat, 09/12/2009 - 07:59
I just woke up. I was having a funny and surprisingly not-abnormal dream. You know, the few occasions where I remember my dreams, I practically always find a really impossible situation going on. Not this time, and that was the first thing that struck my mind.
The dream was staged on a very nice bar, something not very different from the bar on the park by DebConf (in fact, with nice, Spanish-evening-esque light conditions). I was having there some beers with Andrew (NZ), Penny (NZ), Steve (UK), Damog (MX). We were just ordering a nice round of beers; I paid for mine with the €0.50 coin I found yesterday in my kitchen (hey, that's cheap beer! ;-) ). And the conversation was, in fact, quite logical and interesting.
We were comparing the worldviews with which children across our cultures are educated at school. Andrew was sharing how children in New Zealand were taught about the human migrations that led to the population distribution until the 1500s, when Europeans started changing the face of the Earth. Most of the argument was the same one we all know — Early humans leave Africa, their traits specialized for the different weathers, what is widely regarded as the three main racial branches (European white, African black, Eastern yellow - My inner Neo Zealander does not care too much about political correctness, it seems), with Amerindian brown and South-seas black branching off at some point in the process. So far, so good… Debatable but good.
Andrew and Penny continued explaining that the apparent reason, according to New Zealander anthropologists, why the indigenous population in America accepted the culture imposed after the European conquests in the XVI-XVII (contrary to the almost complete annihilation of the Pacific/Indic ocean native cultures) centuries is because the group that crossed Bering ≈50,000BC, and some later groups with whom they inter-mixed came from a semi-developed proto-Christian society, so the new ideas were closer to their own beliefs. Damog, Steve and me gust nodded with interest.
Less than 30 minutes later, awake and after my morning coffee, I'll have to ask you: WTF‽ A proto-Christian society... ≈48,000 years before Christian era? No, no way your argument holds any water!
(on a side note: At least I know that if at some point I develop a multiple personalities disorder, and they are allowed in the same room at once, I will have a good time debating with myself about interesting topics)
Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 09/07/2009 - 13:24
I am updating an old package's packaging style to take advantage of the new DebHelper 7 goodities. So far, I have been quite successful, but I hit a problem… And before bugging on IRC, I decided to check with Joey Hess' presentation at DebConf9, Not your grandpa's debhelper.
Of course, not remembering the URL, it was the most natural thing to ask Google:
Of course, putting this thingy aside, the right answer was the first hit. However, what is the first hit for the Grandma version? Quite dangerous: A post in Ubuntuforums for which the Google excrept reads: this tool can obviously eat your cat, poison your grandma, create an earthquake or do any other unexpected harm, so I don't provide any warranty whatsoever.
I sincerely prefer joeyh's version.
Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 20:55
During DebConf, Noodles discretely approached me and asked whether I'd be interested and willing to join him as Debian's keyring maintainer. Of course, I felt greatly honored and happy about this. Over the past weeks, we have exchanged some mails where he details how it is handled, and I feel I get the general logic — and this last week (which was quite hectic for me — apologies in advance for all the work and mails I have due for different people!) he finally took the big steps: Requested DSA to give me login rights to the needed machine and RT queue and to be listed in the relevant area of the Debian Organization page.
So, even if I still feel afraid of botching Debian and sending the universe swirling away into chaos, I am most happy, and could no longer hide it. Yay! :-D
[BTW] No, it was not on purpose. I did not grow my beard in order to look like St. Peter. But it must have been part of the decision process!
Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 09/02/2009 - 11:05
I met my friend Josef Daberning, who did his Austrian Social Service working with Drupal at the Casa de los Tres Mundos NGO, in Granada, Nicaragua, at the Central American Free Software Encounter, last May. He told me that, when going back to Austria, he would spend some days in Mexico, and wanted to give a workshop on Drupal.
The course has just started, and will take place today and tomorrow — You can follow the live stream at http://www.iiec.unam.mx:18000/drupal.ogg — The videos will be uploaded soon as well, I will post them on this same node.
This node will be used for whatever is needed to make public for people following the talk. As of right now, you can download his presentation — http://gwolf.org/files/gira-drupal.odp and http://gwolf.org/files/gira-drupal.pdf
Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 19:05
Today I had a nice and productive day, code-wise. Maybe that's a side effect from being unable to lose my time following E-mail?
The code itself? Naah, too pedestrian, to simplistic. It will ruin the sight. It just looks so beautifully universal!
Ok, I am compelled to share, even if it spoils it and renders it into a completely regular, even stupid method.
Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 08/31/2009 - 10:56
Yesterday (Sunday, 31/08/09) I far from any computer-like object for most of the day. When I got back home, of course, I promptly opened my laptop to check my mail — who knows what destiny might have for me in a 24 hour period? Maybe I won yet another fortune I have to cash in Nigeria? Maybe there is (GASP!) a new RC bug on one of my packages?
But no, my mail server didn't feel like answering to my ssh queries. The connection was established, but shut down before even sending the protocolary SSH-2.0-OpenSSH_5.1p1 string. Fearing an overload (after all, the little bugger is just a Mac Mini running in another room in my house), I tried to check (via Web) its Munin status — Apache didn't want to listen either. It answered, but got only access denied. Things started worrying me… But (silly me) not enough — The machine runs headless1, so I just danced the boring raising elephants song2.
Allowed for a couple of minutes for everything to settle, and tried to connect. Horror, now even pings didn't work!
So I ran to fetch my old, bulky and trusty monitor. Went back to the machine, plugged it in, switched it off and back on. Everything worked fine this time — At least appearingly. I opened up mutt and started happily reading mails, while trying to understand on another console what happened at 07:06 that didn't get logged anywhere and had the machine dead for basically all the day. And then, BRRRT-BRRRT-BRRRT, I started hearing the HDD seeking.
I was able to send a couple of mails, but decided to let the machine rest and... Will reduce its disk usage to an absolute minimum. Fortunately, I have already the machine meant to replace it — A much nicer, beefier iMac G5, waiting to be vacated from its data, task which has suddenly become prioritary.
So, in short: If you need to get in touch with me in the next day or two, don't count on my usual @gwolf.org mail, as it is down. I hope to be able to get the data out of the poor little bugger painlessly after it rests a bit. And I hope not to drown in a sea of mails after I get the replacement back online :-/
Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 08/25/2009 - 13:09
On August 22, 2009, Pooka and Moni offered a visit to the archaeological mini-sites in Tlalnepantla, the municipality they live in in Estado de México, Northern part of Mexico City. More people were originally invited, but in the end, only Caro, Vicm3 and myself were able to attend.
Tlalnepantla is a very strange municipality nowadays. Pooka explained us of its vast regional influence, until it gave way to Texcoco —and later Mexico-Tenochtitlan— as the dominant power. Tlalnepantla lost notoriety — So much that its current (and last) prehispanic name means the place in between — between two more important places.
Anyway, being us three complete geeks (plus Moni, who blends quite well between us) with lots of social, politic coincidences, we also had a great talk — Víctor summarized it: Wikipedia, FaceBook and their clones, license and licenceable material understanding, the hopefully upcoming Central-American mini-DebConf, different CMSs. And many things that escape any relationship.
Very nice and worthy visit. And the photos, of course, are here.
Submitted by gwolf on Fri, 08/14/2009 - 19:09
Some people never learn to stay out of trouble. Not only that, some people seem to have a desire to run into trouble at every possible ocassion.
It appears I am one of such people.
I won't rewrite this whole proposal in English — Its focus is after all a Spanish-speaking community. Anyway, the Central American Free Software-related lists have been reshuffled/resetup, and I cannot yet find the public archives (which will exist, I am sure).
I talked about this idea with several Central American friends during ECSL and shortly afterwards. Later, at DebConf, I talked it over with fellow attendees. And I think it is the right time to start pushing for this. I really hope we can achieve something worthy this time around!
So, please, take a look at my proposal. If you are not a Spanish-speaker (or -reader), you might want to laugh at Google translate's version of it, and even make some sense out of it. If you have anything to comment, the best way will be by mailing the firstname.lastname@example.org list.
[update] You can now refer to the message to the mailing list and the thread under it.
Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 08/06/2009 - 12:47
I stumbled across El CLIC
Of course, I submitted a work for participation (if you are curious, a more evolved version of the Free Software for the Construction of a Democratic Society work I have been working on with Alejandro Miranda sincle last year as part of our Seminar on the Collective Construction of Knowledge — But that's a different advertiseme^Wstory). I will translate here a couple of paragraphs of the CLIC presentation:
I understand CLIC is Spanish-based — Anyway, I expect many of you to be interested in being part of this effort, led by the Venezuelan RADECON community!
Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 08/05/2009 - 08:31
Safir, Adnan: If you want to push the Bosnian bid, please mention the pleasure it is to drink a good cup of good coffee in the morning. And Bosnian coffee really qualifies as good coffee!
Hvala ti, brate!
Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 08/03/2009 - 13:02
After leaving DebConf on the much uncomfortable 06:45 train last Friday (uncomfortable not because of the seats but because of the timing — It basically meant not sleeping at all in order to spend a last full night of socialization+Mao), I stopped by two dear friends' houses near Madrid (Adriano+Nuria at Alcobendas, María+Borja at Alovera) and came back to Mexico. I must say I was... Really, really, really tired most of the time. On Friday, I met my friends slightly past 5PM, and all the time in between was spent walking to get some things done in Madrid. I would not call this sight-seeing as I was mostly in places I had already been before, but crossing out to-do items from my checklist (i.e. getting a much needed second suitcase, getting some music for Nadezhda's brother, finding good cheap food and so on). Every now and then, when I was not walking (i.e. while on the Cercanías trains), I would doze out - And it was common, for this couple-of-seconds dozing-out, that I would hear or even see any random person of DebConf speaking about any random topic. Quite close to a hallucinative thing! Anyway, my brain has finally understood it does not have to carry you guys around at all times, and I'm just back to (jetlagged and tired) normality.
I got home at ~21:30, unpacked a couple of things, and fell asleep right away. Woke up at around 6AM. That is great, if I can sustain the trend, I will have defeated jetlag!
Today, I got to work, only to find an unresponsive computer — During some update I did from .es, dbus was left on a semi-installed state. No dbus means no HAL, and no HAL means X won't know which input devices to use. Of course, easy to fix, but as I didn't have any other computer handy, instead of ssh'ing my way in, I had to do a couple of reboot cycles until I found the culprit (bah…)
First thing I did upon getting my machine in a workable state is to sign the keys I had left, and to fix those that were probably not signed with SHA256. Some people asked me what was BDale's post about, so I'll summarize, hoping that more explanations might not be better, but contain the same information worded differently, and gets best in everybody's brain. One of the instructions at Ana's great post regarding what to do to get a SHA256 key mentions setting up the following lines in your .gnupg/gpg.conf file:
Thing is, those lines are not added to .caff/gnupghome/gpg.conf, which is an independent copy. I was missing such file, and I don't really know the defaults, so I am not sure this was really needed, but followed BDale's instructions: Delete my signatures on all the affected keys, and run them again through caff (in signing-party). Of course, hand-processing a handful of keys is not exactly fun — But given that signatures are stored in .caff/keys/ ordered by date, it was quite easy to get them all. Yes, some manual shuffling was required, but quite minor all in all. First of all, edit each of the keys, removing your signature from each of the UIDs. This is the user-interaction-heavy part, as gnupg does not like to be driven by piping commands to it (understandably). I wanted to do this on all the keys I had signed during July 2009, so:
So, for each key, I would do:
After this, go through each of those keys again, re-signing them. I could have included this step in the previous block, but I... didn't ;-)
Note that by specifying --no-download, I am not getting it from the keyserver but using the copy I already had on my directory, without the weak signature. And, as I checked I had already signed each of them, it was no longer necessary to triple-check the signature (as I had discarded several of the paper snippets people had given me). I trust well enough this computer, where I had done the initial signatures (and which is not accessible from teh intarwebs without compromising an intermediate server).
As a last bit of caff goodness: Many people will remember only the last eight bytes of their signature. As an example, my new and shiny key information reads:
Speaking informally, I will tell you my key ID is C1DB921F — A short-enough string to be memorized. However, many people do not note this string is just the final part of the fingerprint. And caff allows for keys for it to work on to be specified in several different formats, being C1DB921F only the shortest one. However, you will find way more comfortable (but only after triple-checking the SHA256sum matches!) to ask caff to do the process based on the whole fingerprint. In this case, if I gave caff as its argument AB41C1C68AFD668CA045EBF8673A03E4C1DB921F, I would not have to hand-check the fingerprint matches what I have on the listing, isn't it great? So I did so both for those that were handed out to me as paper snippets (I typed the whole fingerprint as an argument to caff, as I'd have to check it anyway) and for those in Anibal's list. Good thing on Anibal's list is that it is already electronic, and after comparing the SHA256sum to the string I had hand-written in the paper, and weeding out all the people I had not cross-signed with, I just did:
As a final note: I felt much, much more in control and at ease with this edition's key signing process. No more horribly long queues, no more stupid and pointless document checking. Many people just agreed to cross-sign based on the fact that we have known each other's face-to-name relation for long enough to trust it more than any government-issued IDs; other people did request an ID, so I always kept my passport handy. There are several people I engaged in interesting conversations as a result of keysigning request. This year, I did not sign any keys of people whose face I cannot remember (of course, that recalling bound to decrease with time, but it is a much stronger policy than previous years... And I might end up following a stricter one, as several other friends do). And, strangely… Well, there are many people I felt strange of not signing. People I spent long amounts of time working or talkin with, and I ultimately trust their identity. However, seems we didn't ask each other for signatures, or I didn't have a pen handy, or something like that… Anyway, that only leaves me with one more excuse to see you all guys next year in New York!
Submitted by gwolf on Fri, 07/31/2009 - 08:14
So, the 6:45 train group managed to leave DebConf in time and arrive to Madrid, very badly slept, but anyway... I missed some of them who I had not yet said goodbye to. Well, 100% coverage is a theoretical maximum after all! Lucas got to see me quite distressed, moneyless and unable to lodge my bulky 30Kg suitcase (including bike and wine).
Anyway, I managed to get things in their proper arrangement, and started walking to get some things done in Madrid. After taking care of said businesses, very close to Puerta del Sol (metro Sol), my body started claiming for food, as fresh as possible. And even more, for water. I remembered the recommendation some days ago to some green thingy outside Chamartín, so I was looking on how to get there.
A woman was handing flyers for a restaurant. She took my eye - Not because of any æsthetical reason, but because she was promoting that precise place, Salads & Co. This place is _a_w_e_s_o_m_e_. I would eat here every day if it were my call. It seems to be very new, as customers all get the explanation on how to eat here.
There is a very long cold salad bar, 95% veggie-friendly (I only found so far the dreaded bits of chicken for good taste on one of the salads). The hot food bar is much smaller, and it has pizza, spaghetti, potatos and grilled chicken. There is free refill of Pepsi products, and a small dessert section that is frankly not of much interest to me. Oh! And there is free wifi, so I expect to stay here for at least 1hr. Lets see if it is good enough for some VoIP phone calls I must make.
There are five such restaurants:
So, I paid €7.95 (or was it 8.95? Can't recall). They have another promotion: Until September 17, Sunday through Thursday starting 18:00 they work at 2x1.
So, if you are at Madrid or around it... Take a look at this place.
No, they didn't pay me for the publicity. They only fed me and kept me happy. Very happy!
Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 07/30/2009 - 15:46
This has been a great two weeks. DebCamp was -of course- followed by DebConf. My blog postings were kept silent to an absolute minimum, just as my measurable productivity. Of course, this does not mean I have been scratching my belly or anything. Orga team work is HARD and tiring. But it is great fun. And sitting at the front desk means you get to interact with everybody. For $DEITY's sake, it is the best way to get to know people,
Anyway... The last session of Mao is about to start. I am closing the computer. GREAT TIME!
Submitted by gwolf on Sun, 07/26/2009 - 08:57
DebConf9. Assassins. Nomeata has been killed. So have I. Now, the rules say the sock that kills you should be clean, and by that, I understand it should be not smelly — I guess I could have complained that I was killed in the presence of very smelly cheese. Does that still count?
Submitted by gwolf on Thu, 07/23/2009 - 14:06
As many of you are aware, I am the owner of the universe. Let me correct, the proud owner of the universe. This little bugger has got me a good time in Nicaragua and, although it was a bit sick during the first couple of days, I do expect to use it several times in Cáceres. It is always good to have a bike - a reason _and_ a way to move, faster than walking, getting good views and, basically, drawing bystanders' attention.
But today, thanks to Axel, a permanent impression has entered my mind.
I rode a Brompton. Shortly, for less than a kilometer... But, WOW. And I do mean it. <blink>W-O-W</blink>.
One day, when I grow up, I will get my own Brompton. And the Universe will truly be mine.
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