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Present Perfect


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 16:35


All this new mango stuff looks great, Olav and friends are kicking ass.

Obviously I wouldn't be writing this if I had only compliments to give.

We're supposed to run a certain command to get our password. This command can only be run once. The password is long and cryptic. It cannot be changed. And we're supposed to keep it secure.

Now, I'm no Joe Shaw when it comes to passwords, but I think this time I'm going to pass on this exciting opportunity to memorize arbitrary strings of letters and numbers. As a reminder to my future self, I stored this password in $HOME/private/doc/gnome/mango, because I'm 100% sure that otherwise I won't even be sure I'll remember where the password is by the time I will actually need it.

I hope Olav's not going to be too busy a few months down the line changing people's passwords because they've forgotten it, so that he has time to make Mango rock even harder.


Filed under: General — Thomas @ 13:17


Over the last month I put Lunya through two gruelling vet visits. The first was for some standard vaccination, as well as getting her chipped. The chipping is a necessary requirement for her to be able to go back to Belgium and make Kristien feel less lonely.

It was rather painful - so much so that we couldn't hold her still long enough to shoot the chip, or a tranquilizer shot after that to get her calm enough to shoot the chip. After half an hour, the vet gave up, and got this cage from the back room that has this cagey plane inside it which you can move inside the cage to press the cat against the other edge and keep her immobilized. I swear, Lunya was only an inch thick when squished inside this entrapment.

That allowed us to give her the shot, get her sedated, and shoot the chip.

This week was slightly less painful, only a shot against rabies.

The vet recommended I use a certain spray to sedate the cat before taking her on a plane, and that I test it some day before doing so, and note down how long it takes her to go calm and how long the effect lasts.

Today I spent some ten minutes trying to coerce her to open her mouth. Then when she finally did, I sprayed her tongue, and she managed to pull away and spit out half of it on the recently washed sofa blanket. I don't really know how much she actually held in, and I'm not planning to give her another dose because too much gunk will kill her, just as sure as none at all.

In the past hour, she has clawed her way through our tv cabinet two times, hiding herself behind the stereo (don't ask), jumping back and forth through the living room, chasing imaginary butterflies, and chasing her tail while lying on her scratching pole.

I'm not convinced this tranquilizer product is working out for her.

Nerd shirts

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 13:10


are hard. I've got so many t-shirts from conferences or events that I'm just never going to wear except when I'm painting walls or something. Also, most t-shirts come in one size, which some people call Extra-Extra-Large-American.

Recently the ACCESS T-shirts were a prime example. Even Google, who get so many things right, usually get their shirts wrong.

Once in a while though someone gets it right and a shirt passes the simple girlfriend test - at least, as long as you don't actually start explaining what the shirt is about. The LCA 2007 shirt is an excellent example.

The most recent acquisition passing the test is the Openismus t-shirt. It looks cool, has a nice design, felt-feel letters, and it does not say "nerd" at any angle. This week, however, some visitors pointed out an easter egg of the T-shirt:

I'm not sure if that raises or lowers the score for this shirt on the nerd scale yet, but it is definitely a balance tipper.

P.S.: with extraordinary mental control I've managed to avoid making purile jokes about similar easter eggs in the name of Openismus' founder. One day I will be rewarded.

World of suck

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 22:36


Is when you have a three day weekend with big plans for Getting Shit Done, and every night throws a spanner in the wheel.

Saturday was particularly delicious - our main mail/web server crashed, and I couldn't reboot it remotely. Aparently this was my own fault, it's the one machine I never configured Serial-On-Lan for. Apparently the drives had left the virtual RAID-1 disk, which I have now figured out is likely due to a firmware bug on the controller. In any case, I left for the data center around 2:30 AM, and left there around 4:30 AM. Except they couldn't get me a taxi - 10 minutes of hold music on the taxi phone. All of Barcelona is celebrating La Merce.

The guy at the data center told me to walk to a hotel nearby and try my luck there, but no dice. Around 5:15 AM, I resigned myself to take the long way home on foot from IKEA on Gran Via. After half an hour, an empty taxi drove by and took me home. I swear I never kissed a taxi driver so violently as I did that night.

So, very little rest for me this weekend, and not that much Shit Done Getting.

Last night was a good breather though - Travis were playing ten minutes from where I live, out in the streets, for free. They're not my favourite band, but they hold their own live, and I have good memories of seeing them live. And I swear, it is hard to stay depressed when you're listening to Writing To Reach You or Why Does It Always Rain On Me.

Dell support strategy

Filed under: General — Thomas @ 22:32


If you have next business day support, Dell's support strategy is to delay you as much as possible, asking you to perform unrelated diagnostics checks, until it's past 17.00. From that point on, they accept the possibility of a hardware failure, and let you know that Next Business Day only applies if the ticket has been confirmed before 17.00 (which you need the diagnostics output for). After 17.00, it's the day-after-tomorrow.

Apparently this is standard. I should have known.

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