Useful stuff about dealing with partitions etc. on these new-fangled 4096-byte-sectored hard disks:
Neil McGovern, on behalf of the Debian Release Team, announced the target date of the weekend of 4th/5th May for the release of Debian 7.0 "Wheezy".
Now it's time to organize some Wheezy release parties to celebrate the event and show all your Debian love!
I have an interesting idea I wanted to share that I am calling Three Point Blogging, and I am keen to get your input on this. Feel free to use that daintily prepared comment box, rummaging around at the bottom of this post, to share your feedback and ideas.
Blogging has lost some of its luster to me somewhat. I don’t enjoy nor have the time to read large swathes of text, and I don’t have the time to produce large swathes of text either. I suspect others feel this way too, hence the promulgation of tl;dr summarizing these wordy manifests. It is common theory too that most people take three points away from a presentation or article, and as such these textual overlords are somewhat overloading readers, who are often dipping into your blog in-between emails or meetings.
As such, I am inviting you folks to join me in a little experiment I am calling Three Point Blogging. Inspired by Twitter, and with a focus on content as opposed to word count, TPB blog entries should make three core points, spread across three paragraphs. This keeps entries short and sweet, focused on the core points, and more digestible. What’s more, this might encourage a little more playful word-smithing that is often lost when constructing the Berlin Wall of text. Now, this won’t apply to all posts, but I think it could apply to the majority of them, so I am giving it a shot. Anyone else interested in trying?
There are some items which are just not possible to order online any more, assuming you want something of minimal quality. These include:
That’s not counting the stuff where it’s still just about possible to get non-fake stuff, but it’s a crapshoot, eg. computer memory, hard disks, batteries, flash memory.
Mike the electrician is here wiring up the garden office to the mains (I’m doing the networking). The armoured cable (black) and the two cat7 network cables (yellow) will be buried in this trench:
They go in through the wall. This will later be hidden with metal conduit. That wall is 12 inches thick, and close behind it is the gas main so he had to be very careful where he was drilling.
Finally the armoured cable finishes next to the consumer unit (to the right — not shown). Look at the lovely 1950s-era mains supply:
In my first writeup on Firefox OS and geeksphone I wrote:
It depends very much on Mozilla’s and Telefonica’s ability to execute
I should have added something about their partners’ ability to execute. I tried to buy a geeksphone this morning. It was not a happy experience.
The first problem is the page that lists the phones is built dynamically, and the site is hitting the maximum allowable database connections. The result is this error:
You might argue that this is just the result of high traffic, and it could happen to any busy site. But this is a basic error, and a nasty error message. This sort of detail should never be exposed to the user. If the site is too busy, put up a “sorry, we’re too busy” page. It’s deeply embarrassing for the architects of the mobile web to fall down on the basics of web-based e-commerce. You wouldn’t want your phone’s dialler to give a 404 or 500 error, so why let your shop do it?
When you do get the page to load, you’ll notice those great headline prices – €91 and €149 – have now become €110.11 and €180.29:
This is because the phones were advertised exclusive of taxes the first time around, which was just silly and confusing. Set pricing expectations and then manage them, don’t jump around all over the place. There’s no consistency.
Next, when you finally get a page to load, the “Add to cart” button doesn’t often work. More database errors:
If you do get the phone into your shopping cart, during the checkout process, you’re asked to agree to some terms and conditions of sale. (With some pretty peculiar wording that suggests a hasty translation: I agree to the Terms of Service and will adhere to them unconditionally.)
But good luck if you want to read those terms, as you’ll either get another database connection error…
… or you’ll get a copy of the Terms and Conditions, but in Spanish:
And then it’s on to the payment processing screen…
And finally, if you’re lucky, you’ll get the order confirmation page. Nothing wrong with that? Nothing apart from “ourcustomer support”. Details!
Apparently the problems weren’t too bad, since the Keon is now out of stock. That suggests a number of people were successful, despite the database problems.
I’ve no idea how many Firefox OS devices were available. My order number suggests more than 300 devices have been sold, but I don’t know if that’s Keon and Peak, or just Peak.
I really do wish Mozilla, Telefonica, and Geeksphone well in launching a new device and building the open mobile web ecosystem. But I also wish they’d pay attention to execution. If you want to win at the Game of Phones, you need to get the small things right and have a relentless attention to detail.
Recently Microsoft Open Technologies celebrated their one year anniversary. I just wanted to offer my congratulations on this important milestone.
Now, it could be tempting for some of you to become a little snitty about Microsoft wanting to engage more openly with people, but I believe that this project (as well as the OuterCurve Foundation; a different but similarly themed entity) should be celebrated. These are important steps in Microsoft evolving into a more open future, and folks such as Gianugo Rabellino from Microsoft Open Technologies and Paula Hunter and Stephen Walli from the OuterCurve Foundation are doing wonderful work in treading these careful steps forward. All three of these folks have been tremendously supportive of Open Source, community (including sponsoring the Community Leadership Summit multiple times), and demonstrate a real commitment to delivering those values in a historically proprietary culture. I can imagine that this is not particularly easy work, and I commend them for their commitment, and Microsoft for their evolution as a company.
Open Source has had a profound impact on the world, and for a company with such a philosophically different history to commit staff and resources to exploring a more open future, well, I think this is a fantastic step forward for Microsoft, Open Source, and wider interoperability.
The Microsoft Open Technologies team will be celebrating on Thursday in Silicon Valley with their anniversary party. Be sure to head over there; unfortunately I am unable to join due to another commitment.
Congratulations, Microsoft Open Technologies!
Henry Ford, a great inspirational figure in the history of technological development once said that “when everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”. Ford faced great technological challenges in building the Model T; a car that he wanted the average citizen to be able to afford back in the early 1900s. He committed his life to challenging the norm and bringing technology that touched the lives of real people.
While challenged with the status quo and at times by ignorance and entitlement, he merely saw “obstacles as those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal”. Ford’s commitment to making technology available to all resulted in more than 15 million Model Ts being sold between 1908 and 1927.
After a brief a introduction from Steven Moffat, who described the story as “perfect” and this era of the show as “the best era, apart from all the other eras which are equally as good”, there was a surprise guest: Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) read a speech about his love of the Tom Baker era. A brief clip of Lis Sladen from an earlier BFI event was shown, a touching way to make sure her presence was felt.
“Robots” itself was cracking. I’ve seen it lots of times before, but the presentation on the large screen was great. I hadn’t realised how downright cheeky Leela is in this story, she’s almost cocky. The costumes are fabulous if utterly impractical and the robot masks spooky. The tension really ramps up in part three as the body count gets higher.
Halfway through the story, Mat Irvine gave us some insights into how the visual effects were managed in the BBC at the time “Robots” was being made.
The panel afterwards was fantastic. The smallest panel of the season so far, it featured Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), Louise Jameson (Leela) and Tom Baker (The Doctor). Tom was on grand form, his stream of conciousness was hilarious and random. He also talked a little about his relationship with Lalla Ward, which I haven’t heard him do before. Philip and Louise both managed to get more than a few words in edgeways, which was no mean feat.
Afterwards a large group of podcasters reviewed the screening for another special episode of the Doctor Who Podcast, which will appear on-line soon. Chatting and sharing pizza with other fans makes the screenings even more fun. The Doctor Who Podcast special recording from the “Mind of Evil” BFI screening is still available.Pin It
Since libguestfs 1.20 it has been possible to use rsync to upload or download files to a disk image incrementally. This is one way to do backups, but note that it won’t work on live guests unless you take a snapshot.
rsync involves using a network connection into or out of the appliance, and is therefore a lot more involved to set up. The script below shows one way to do this, by running an rsync daemon on the host, and letting the libguestfs appliance connect to it.
The script runs rsync inside the appliance, copying /home from the attached disk image out to /tmp/backup on the host. If the operation is repeated, then only incrementally changed files will be copied out. (To incrementally delete files on the target, add the deletedest:true flag).
Note you will need to open port 2999 on your host’s firewall for this to work.#!/bin/bash - set -x # The target directory. mkdir -p /tmp/backup # Create the daemon. rm -f /tmp/rsyncd.pid cat <<EOF > /tmp/rsyncd.conf port = 2999 pid file = /tmp/rsyncd.pid [backup] path = /tmp/backup use chroot = false read only = false EOF rsync --daemon --config=/tmp/rsyncd.conf # Run guestfish and attach to the guest. guestfish --ro --network -a /dev/fedora/f19rawhidex32 -i <<EOF trace on rsync-out /home rsync://firstname.lastname@example.org:2999/backup archive:true EOF # Kill the rsync daemon. kill `cat /tmp/rsyncd.pid`
Slightly short notice but this month's pub meet will be in Guildford again at The Keystone on Portsmouth Road, on Wednesday 24th April from 6.30/7.00pm until whenever people have had enough! It is about a 5-7 minute walk from Guildford central station.
These are different to 'bring a box' meetings as it's more of a social gathering over beer and food, so if you're going to bring a device make sure it doesn't take up table space!
Inside there’s a ring for sockets and a lighting circuit. The windows and doors are pre-made double-glazed units.