oa-(k)ste-PEC - oakstepéc (or the attack of the nested parenthesis)

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 12/14/2005 - 16:44
Yes, you can surely tell I am no guru when it comes to describing sounds - maybe that's because in Spanish every letter has one, or at most two, sounds? Anyway, Christian, that's the way to say it - The O sometimes sounds a little bit U-ish, in some places you could see this same sound (coming from Náhuatl, Mexico's main indigenous language) as huaks. The k (in the x) is usually pronounced, but quite soft - sometimes we just refer to the place as "Oastepec", and nobody gets hurt (or worse, sent to Oaxaca (Huajaka - yes, the X is the only letter whose sound truly changes (and that is because Spaniards used it as a wildcard for S, KS, SH, J - In fact, México is pronounced Méjico, but never (EVER) spelt that way besides what other Spanish speakers say. The original sound, though, was closer to Méshico))) And, yes, I am also one of many thousands of people longing to ride through the Copper Canyon. It's supposed to be really, really beautiful. Too bad Chihuahua is ~20 hours away from Mexico City :( And about Oaxtepec's location: It's 60km south of Mexico City, not of Downtown Mexico (that would still be out of the city, but not by that much). The best route is not straight, so from my house (in South-Western Mexico City, ~15m away from where the Cuernavaca highway begins) it's about 90 minutes. The highway is _very_ good and safe, don't worry. I do expect people coming by car from the USA. Here you have a good map of Morelos state. Oaxtepec is on the third column, second row, near Cuautla. Just for completeness sake, just North of Morelos you have Distrito Federal, where Mexico City (partly) lies. The airport, where most of you will arrive is again in the second row, third column (hmmm... A pattern starts to emerge! Lets see what that means...) - We are working so we don't have to explain to you all how to get from there to Oaxtepec, I hope we can provide buses covering the route, at least in the days with most arrivals.
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DebConf6 in May - Why?

Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 12/13/2005 - 16:06
I see that plans start getting ready. Bubulle is coming, Wouter is not, and people will soon start getting their plans ready. I am quite excited about it! Of course, I need to devote more time to it, which is hard to me - but I will do it. Oaxtepec rules, you will _love_ the place. I went there again to spend a weekend with Nadezhda - Took some more photos, added them to the album. Debconf guys: Yes, I owe you a full report... It will come. Soon. Promise. Anyway... I'm excited. Debian friends, Mexican interested friends: What are you waiting for? Join us! Register! [update] Well, I published this entry, but then realized I wanted to answer to Wouter's question: Why in May? ;-) First of all, weather: The weather is plainly better in May. Somewhat warmer... The rainy season starts in May/June, but believe me, you don't want to have your laptop out during Morelos State's well known thunderstorms! Second, I fear of political instability. Next July we will be having our federal elections. We don't anticipate instability such as what we had in 1994 (which, please you all be quiet, didn't even mean violence in the streets), but still... It's better not to have Debconf too near the elections. Third, prices - Most places are noticeably more expensive during Summer. And, yes, I know some people will not be able to attend... I am sorry to learn you are one of them. Still, I'm sure some other people would not be able to make it in July.
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My presentation in VI SIIS in Tacna, Perú

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 14:02
I am about to give a presentation in Tacna, Perú, at the VI SIIS, Universidad Nacional Jorge Basadre Grohmann. What is different this time? That I am waiting for the conference to start, sitting in my nice workplace at IIEc-UNAM. Yes, I was supposed to go and talk there (and was quite excited to go to the I ConclaDeb at Arequipa last week). Anyway, why cancel my talk, having the technical means to carry it out? Less than five minutes from now we will start. There is only one thing I regret: As a complete multimedia neophyte, I could not suggest an application to do this from within Linux - We will be using MSN for the presentation. I have a friend's computer on my desktop, and MSN worked great (and at the first try!) for this - Who can suggest me a free alternative for doing this (specially taking into account that I cannot go to the other end and do much configuration on their side - It must be something speaking a standard format) Anyway... Time to talk! I'll have my paper (Spanish only, sorry - Analizadores morfológicos aplicados al lenguaje natural, aplicaciones para la búsqueda de información) online. Right now I only have my presentation there, but in a couple of hours, the paper should be there as well.
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Pacman trouble

Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 11/29/2005 - 17:31
I have found visual evidence that the Pacman xscreensaver hack levels are produced by random and, contrary to what many people say, were not simply copied off the console. Atari's good soul must thank ${DEITY} that this didn't happen to a human player! Still, it was funny watching this game, mainly as Pacman's speed is roughly 10% faster than the ghosts', and he cannot just stand still.
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My Perl name

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 11/23/2005 - 14:32
Thanks to Algernon, I also discovered my true Perl name: ''=~('(?{'.('^/@@[}'^'.])./]').'"'.(':^@@]/}}/,;_'^'}+..<]]*@@]}').',$/})') Isn't it crystal-clear? ...Seems I'll have to repeate Algernon's hint: Perl, enter, paste, Ctrl-D.
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...So we did it!

Submitted by gwolf on Sun, 11/20/2005 - 11:44
Note: When reading this entry, please set your date to 2005-11-10. Delays in the system prevented me from posting this earlier. I have lived together with Nadezhda for almost ten years - And this month (on November 1st, to be precise), it is ten years we first met on one of the few BBSes we had in Mexico by then - Thanks a lot, Mag, for setting it up - you changed my life in more ways I'd ever have thought! Over the time, of course, our relation has changed a lot - the first step was telling to other people about each other's existence. The second was accepting we were not together only in between (long story... But I was about to leave the country for good. And I did. But then she followed. And we came back together). Then, little by little, we started settling down, we became a formal couple in the eyes of our families and friends. We always thought social conventions were silly. We laughed about the prospect of marriage, of having to accept in front of others what we felt towards each other - But anyway, some months ago, we started talking it would be nice to make out of our nice, private relationship something serious and formal to commemorate our ten year anniversary. Not much was told about it for some months... Until by mid-October we realized we would not make it in time if we didn't hurry - So we went to the Registro Civil at Coyoacán and asked for an appointment with the judge. November 1st is an official holiday, so it was not possible to make it right on the same date - We got the appointment for November 9. Some people might be asking here why weren't they told about this - Well, first of all, as you can see, we didn't have much time to plan this. Second, we decided to take this formal step, but to have it privately. We went only with my father, my brother, Nadezhda's mother, sisters, our nephews and one long-time friend. We were summoned at 10:30AM, had to wait for the judge to marry some other couples until around 12:00PM, had some nice words from him for ~15 minutes, and went for a nice breakfast in a nearby restaurant with the whole gang. Oh! Something interesting: We actually didn't know when we were formally getting married. We were called some 30 minutes before the official words to sign some papers, which the judge would later, and privately, certify as valid. The judge just talks, he does not sign anything with us present... But, well, it is a nice moment ;-) And... Well, here is the proof. It took some days to receive the document, it took me some more days to finally post about it - But finally, our acquintances have been informed of our formal step towards a life together :)
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...So I did it

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 11/16/2005 - 00:19
So it seems I cannot uphold my word - Well, yes, it was because of the trouble it would represent to the fine Moquegua guys - But anyway, I ended up accepting the invitation practically at the last minute, and went to Moquegua, Perú, probably for my life's most tiresome journey. Saturday, after lunch, we headed for the airport. I left Mexico at 17:30, and arrived five hours later in the Lima airport. Thanks to Antonio, José and Laura, who picked me up at 23:30 and arranged me a room in a hotel. I met the DebianPeru crowd, a very nice group, Sunday morning - We had breakfast, chatted for a while, and went for Lima's famous ceviche (assorted seafood cooked in cold in lemon. VERY good). At 3:45PM, I took the bus to Moquegua... For 17 long hours. Got to Moquegua at ~8AM, went to the José Carlos Mariátegui University. I met the other guest speakers for breakfast, went with them to meet the Univerity Rector, hooked up some minutes to the net, went to a typical Moqueguan restaurant, gave my talk... Then hurried up to get the bus back to Lima. We got there five minutes before it left. I don't know why or how, but the bus back took 14 instead of 17 hours - I will not complain ;-) Back in Lima, Carlos met me at the bus station, we went for breakfast, and hurried to the airport. I crossed the gate at 12PM, hurried by the airline personnel (and didn't manage to see Rudy/Stone_Head, who was on his way there)... Just to find the plane was delayed, although by little. Sat down for a while, hacked for a bit, and took the plane back home. Summing it all up, I traveled roughly 40 hours, out of the 72 hours I was out of Mexico. Of course, you could add 1hr travelling to the airport and 1:30 back home... Anyway, 40/72 is quite close to 42/74 :) I am tired. Plain tired. I am just waiting for Nadezhda to get home, as I want her to find me alive, and I'll crash down in bed.
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Thanks for the warning!

Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 11/07/2005 - 11:23
Ok, so I have my Mac Mini ready to overtake my old PC as my home server/gateway/whatnot. Before anything, I must thank Filip for his warning - I had left 3GB at the end of the disk to set up MacOS - Just for fun, just to play with it, maybe even to use the Mac On Linux trick. Anyway, if I want to do anything with MacOS, I can use Nadezhda's G5 imac... And it is not sane to have a server's interface to the world rely on a stack of two (cooperating, but still...) OSs. I'll just stick to good ol' wired Ethernet. PS: Fuck Broadcom.
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Lateness, angst, addiction - Trying to get hold of my life

Submitted by gwolf on Mon, 10/31/2005 - 22:30
This is by far the most stressful long period I can remember in my life. I was quite in control of things approximately until around June. Since then, things have been falling over me in a quick and heavy sucession - First of all, being co-organizer at Debconf was quite hard. I had run conferences before, but nothing ever like this - And, I should add, I never had a German boss running the show. [friend="Stockholm"], as a project leader, you really rule... But whoever works with you should be warned: It is not easy. Gunnar's Rule of Future Life No. 2: It's easier to be the coordinator (remember I was officially the Tyrant for three years at CONSOL? :) ) than to be in the immediately subordinate team. Back home, I expected the regular post-vacation rush, so having a hard August -trying to make everything on time- was expectable and OK. I don't remember exactly what projects was I in during August/September (I remember some minor stuff, but I think adding it all together was the mistake). There is one thing I did, though: Accepting way too many invitations as a speaker, at least one every two weeks. And, as many of you know, you cannot just travel somewhere and keep working - When I am at a conference, I want to get to talk with the people there, I want to know what are they interested in (why they invited me in the first place), and make friends with them. But this time it was (as it happens every year - Why are most conferences stuck together September-November?) just way too much. Gunnar's Rule of Future Life No. 2: Be careful on what you accept. It's easy saying "yes" to a conference. It's hard keeping sanity afterwards. Ok... I have been going places. For example, two weeks ago I was to San Luis Potosí. Instead of staying there for two days, I left my office at 7PM, took the metro to the bus station, got the bus at 9PM, arrived at 2AM, went to my hotel, woke up at 7:30AM, had breakfast, coded for ~1hr, went to the conference theater, delivered my talk at 11AM, went for a quick lunch (which became a takeaway order) at 1:15PM, got on my bus at 2PM, arrived back in Mexico City at 7PM, got to a (fucking long) meeting at 8PM, left the meeting at 12AM, and finally got back home at 1AM. Fun, huh? Gunnar's Rule of Future Life No. 3: Yes, it's fun to travel. It is much more fun to travel when you actually get to know the place! ...And pressure has not given way. As soon as I finish with one project, there is another one demanding my attention right away. October has been more than hectic. I had to cancel two invitations (on which I was to go to two cities each time) I was quite looking forward to, in Peru - I am very sorry, friends at Lima, Moquegua, Tacna and Arequipa... But I won't make it there this year. I am specially frustrated by not being able to make it to Concladeb in Arequipa - I really want to see DebianPeru/DebianArequipa's good work! And I am specially sorry on canceling today my trip to Moquegua, after they had already booked (and paid) for the tickets... It seems the money will not be lost after all, but I was such a pain in the ass for them, it is not fair I am cancelling... But anyway. Gunnar's Rule of Future Life No. 4: Remember to learn from past experiences - It feels incredibly as a deja-vu from last year. I hope I am not spoiling any surprises: Today, instead of blogging, I am supposed to be setting up the Comas server for Debconf6. Even with all of my worries, yes, I am still determined to be the man behind the show for Debconf. It will be in Oaxtepec, don't worry, and it will be a huge success. So let me finish this post quick, and it will be sooner you can register for it ;-) There are still too many points to work on Comas, though. I am setting up a tweaked version, against my will, but with the commitment to fix it transparently and soon. Oh... Yes, and I still have to coordinate with the locals here, as it's taking forever for us to open the fscking bank account so we can start receiving funds and paying money. Did I mention Debconf would be in Mexico? Ok, I will do my best not to make lateness the norm. Gunnar's Rule of Future Life No. 5: Try not to bore your audience with too many details. Remember you have to work, and somebody might complain you lose too much time blogging! But before I leave you alone: You might ask why do I mention the addiction in my post title... Well, because I have started treating my main addiction. It is really not easy, and I don't ever want to know what is it like to have a chemical addiction, like people who abuse drugs. If you have seen me face to face, it should be obvious: I have a very strong addiction to food. For one month already, I have been as conscious as I can every time I open my mouth - And, yes, it was not just three times a day. I have made some advances (sorry, I cannot really measure it, as home scales make it only to 120kg). Today is a big day for me: I was admitted in a pilot obesity control follow-up treatment at my University's sports health direction. I am very happy about this, as I do need mentoring and hand-holding. This is a seriously difficult process to follow, and I really hope to carry it thoroughly. Fortunately, my health has been perfect until now - But I cannot abuse myself forever.
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Yet Another Meme

Submitted by gwolf on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 14:21
Nice one, Mike! I would have liked to end up being more humane, though ;-)
Much More Scientific


You have:
77% SCIENTIFIC INTUITION and
47% EMOTIONAL INTUITION
The graph on the right represents your place in Intuition 2-Space. As you can see, you scored about average on emotional intuition and well above average on scientific intuition.Keep in mind that very few people score high on both! In effect, you can compare your two intuition scores with each other to learn what kind of intuition you're best at. Your scientific intuition is stronger than your emotional intuition.

Your Emotional Intuition score is a measure of how well you understand people, especially their unspoken needs and sympathies. A high score score usually indicates social grace and persuasiveness. A low score usually means you're good at Quake.

Your Scientific Intuition score tells you how in tune you are with the world around you; how well you understand your physical and intellectual environment. People with high scores here are apt to succeed in business and, of course, the sciences.

Try my other test!
The 3 Variable Funny Test
It rules.





My test tracked 2 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 80% on Scientific
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 7% on Interpersonal
Link: The 2-Variable Intuition Test written by jason_bateman on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test
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Please describe yourself

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 10/26/2005 - 16:20
Ok, so my brain is right now thinking on how to make Comas (my Conference Management System, which is quite nice, but somewhat unflexible. Sorry for the butt-ugly and incomplete webpage...) more flexible - And I have come accross some quite nice things. First of all, I want the fields for each person (the person table) to be easily modifiable, allowing me to add/remove attributes at will between different instances of Comas. Ok, this is the muscle behind my new idea. Yes, PostgreSQL-specific, as basically everything in Comas:
CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW table_attributes AS SELECT c.relname AS tablename, a.attname AS attrname, t.typname AS type, a.attnotnull AS required, d.description AS description FROM pg_class c JOIN pg_attribute a ON a.attrelid=c.oid JOIN pg_type t ON a.atttypid=t.oid LEFT OUTER JOIN pg_description d ON d.objoid=c.oid AND d.objsubid=a.attnum WHERE a.attnum>0 AND a.attisdropped = 'f' AND c.relkind='r' AND c.relname NOT LIKE 'pg_%' AND c.relname NOT LIKE 'sql_%' ORDER BY tablename, a.attnum;
Nice, but still not enough - As with any other RDBMS, fields can not only hold data, but -of course- they can be foreign keys, referring to data in other tables. Ok, in order to check those relations and be able to build a map of the relations in my DB, I came up with this:
CREATE OR REPLACE VIEW related_tables AS SELECT c1.relname AS referrer, c2.relname AS refered, a.attname AS ref_key FROM pg_constraint con JOIN pg_class c1 ON con.conrelid=c1.oid JOIN pg_class c2 ON con.confrelid=c2.oid JOIN pg_attribute a ON c1.oid=a.attrelid AND a.attnum=ANY(con.conkey) WHERE contype='f' ORDER BY c1.relname, c2.relname;
In the first query, note that I am excluding from what I report all the tables starting with pg_ or sql_ - While that's a usual convention in Postgres, there surely is a better way to do it, some attribute signalling it's a system catalog... But, at least for now, this covers my needs. Anyway, this might come useful for your projects. PostgreSQL introspection is fun! (Yes, those two queries are the result of many lonely hours going through the documentation and a couple of spontaneous questions to several friends - But it's worth it!)
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On nice, closed numbers

Submitted by gwolf on Tue, 10/25/2005 - 09:38
Wouter: I also remember finding it shortly in the future and missing it. It sucks. Anyway, try to be creative: gwolf@mosca:~$ LC_ALL=C date -d '1978-05-06 + 10101 days' Sat Dec 31 00:00:00 CST 2005 Yes, I know this looks like binary but is decimal, but... Well, looks nice :) I think the sanest for me will be to wait ~11 more months: gwolf@mosca:~$ LC_ALL=C date -d '1976-04-27 + 11111 days' Thu Sep 28 00:00:00 CDT 2006
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Meme time!

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 10/12/2005 - 12:01
Following Tolimar, Kov, Noodles, Amaya, and the people who have fallen off the edge of the Planet:
  • Gunnar needs to stamp images with time when captured
  • Obviously gunnar needs a world map store and use the information he has gathered
  • Gunnar needs a box for his blocks
  • Gunnar needs to finish his clean-ups he planned or I guess already started.
  • Gunnar needs to develop more body rhythm to advance in this style.
  • Go rent "Scars Don't Sweat' because Gunnar needs the .003 cents he earns from each rental
  • Asther and Gunnar need a miracle! Asther needs her healing and Gunnar needs an additional measure of God’s strength and grace as he cares for Asther
  • Gunnar needs your help with Dwellingup data
Scary... Some of them even make sense!
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Of floods and the longest distance between two points

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 10/12/2005 - 11:40
In order to understand this post, if you are not familiar with Mexico City (specially with Ciudad Universitaria), you should get this flood experience route, which illustrates the longest and wettest possible route between two points I have ever had to use. Yesterday, we had quite a nice Debian México group meeting. I invited the people over to my Institute, and we started on time, at ~17:00. I should note that my office has no windows, so until 16:50 I still had the impression we had nice weather - I came back from lunch at home at 16:00, and we still had sunshine. When I got to the Ángel Bassols room, on the fifth floor and with a beautiful view of the south west of the Mexico City valley, I noticed we had a severe storm - People got to the meeting anyway, which is admirable... But from time to time I was more into watching the rain fall than hearing people speak. We had four small talks out of the five scheduled: I spoke about Debconf - What it is, how are we advancing, what can local people do, where/how to get involved (hint: We are meeting this Sunday, October 16, at 19:00UTC, which means 14:00 Mexican time, in #debconf-team in irc.debian.org). Rodrigo spoke about public key cryptography, GPG, and the usefulness to have a Web of trust (meaning, it's not only good for becoming a DD). Sergio spoke about his experience setting up and administering Nisamox, Mexico's only Debian mirror (of course, in UNAM as well). Damog spoke about the fine job he has been doing on cleaning up the WNPP. Ana was scheduled to talk, but we had the room only until 19:30, so at 20:00 we had to leave. Well, we should take this meeting to the traditional restaurant, right? 20:45, still in the lobby of the building (Torre II de Humanidades), we were all watching one of the most intense rains I have ever come across. We were hungry and didn't want to be there anymore - Ok, lets move. Rain started to give way, so we headed to the cars. Yes, many of you know I live really close to the Institute (see the map again), but I wanted to go have dinner and talk a bit more. I went with Sergio to his car, parked in the Facultad the Ingeniería parking lot, some 40m from the Torre. The sight was amazing. The "Las Islas" park (sorry, I could find no photo) really became islands. There was even a considerable waterfall in the border between Las Islas and the parking lot! We took off our shoes to get safely to the car. Ok, traffic would probably be hellish, but we thought it would be 1hr until we got to the traditional Vips Altavista. One hour later, 22:00, we were only in front of Rectoría - What is it, about... 400 meters away, at very most? Sergio decided to park and wait until we got some possibility to move. After some 45 minutes, people started opening way towards Insurgentes Sur - We went that way. Even though it was in the opposite direction, we had the hope of movement. As we already knew (thanks to the radio) that everything in this city was chaotic, we headed to Sergio's institute (Astronomy). Before reaching there, we found yet another group of cars which did not move, forward or backward. Amazing - We entered the Facultad de Ciencias parking lot - The queue was of people trying to exit through the Cerro del Agua exit (which is ~700m away, northward, by Metro Copilco). We realized nothing would save us from getting soaked - At least rain was not severe anymore, but it was still falling steadily. We walked a bit, Sergio went on to his institute, and I decided to go to the metro and go straight home. I got to Metro Universidad at around 23:30, and waited there for about 15 minutes (metros in Mexico usually take between two and five minutes between each other, depending on the demand). Only that... Well, we were told that Metro Copilco was closed as the area was completely flooded. Crap. Crap. Crap. Later, my wife and her brother confirmed that the flood was severe - We were lucky not to get a flood at home! I decided to ride the metro anyway, as Metro Miguel Ángel de Quevedo is quite closer to my house than Universidad. And, yes, I walked back home. 3 frigging hours to go from my Institute to my house. ~300m away. Probably the most severe storm I have ever seen in Mexico City. Unbelievable. The only thing I really must thank for is that in my wife's family's house everything was OK - They live just next to the natural course of an open river, and they have had terrible floods, with up to 1m of water... The city government did some work, which proved to work correctly this time. Thanks to whoever made it!
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I like understanding why I am not a Gnome user

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 10/05/2005 - 12:02
Erich: Most Linux users expect me to run Gnome, KDE or -at the very geeky extreme- xfce. I hate them all - I hate xfce and KDE much more than I hate Gnome, yes, but I cannot live in a Gnome-based world. It is just not comfortable. It is not fun. Some months ago, I tried them all. One week with Gnome, one sour week with KDE, three very sour days with xfce. The world makes you feel you should be using an integrated feature-bloated desktop, and that good ol' beloved Windowmaker with {rxvt,emacs,firefox} is an anachronic no-go. I find it interesting to read other people explaining why they think as I do, and I also like reading the counter-arguments. Besides, if there happens to be an integrated desktop user who is dissatisfied with his current environment, why not tempt him to try something different (like my WMaker) or completely different (like their ion3)?
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