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Experiencing the Surreal at the Tulloola Cafe

I struck an owl with my car yesterday, which might go some way to explaining my evening's --- well there is no real word to explain it --- it requires a physical component --- or rather you wish that you could have avoided the physical component, but by some quirk of cosmic significance beyond our comprehension you just couldn't. It started out harmlessly enough. I was to meet my sister at the Tulloola Cafe for a little bit to eat and an early evening's entertainment listening to a short programme of Trevor Malcolm on the piano accompanied by his digital self.

Upgrade to drupal 5.0 release candidate 1

Yup. The new software seems to work. This stuff really is remarkably sophisticated. I wonder whether the quality of the software really matters though. It seems as though we will all be living in a Google universe in the not too distant future. How soon will it be that no one will need to host their own software, when Google's universe of service will extend to cover anything that you would previously considered needing your own server for.

Teach Yourself Piano

Teach Yourself Piano is a Windsor duo that deserve to be linked to. So Teach Yourself Piano. Their CD Sweet Waltz, Bitter Waltz came out recently, and hopefully the rumoured Pictures by Sandi Wheaton will also become available soon.

On the GPLv3

There seem to be so many people who think that the DRM style signing of binaries is unavoidable and easily circumvented, but I am convinced this is not so. All that the FSF need do in writing (or just in interpreting) there upcoming licence is to consider the one-way hash functions on which cryptographically secure signatures depend (and in particular, on which any economically viable means of DRM depends) as being a binary with respect to the source from which it is generated. Then any entity that wishes to bless just one particular version of a piece of code by DRM means would, by virtue of the GPL, be conveying the binary they are trying to control, and thus subject to all the requirements and provisions of the GPL.

Skipping Christmas

I shall be shipping Christmas this year. Not having to go shopping is a great relief.

Server Goes Catatonic

Boy, what an idiot I am. I was testing a new 2.6.18 kernel build on my home machine, which was having some dhcp networking issues, and entered a static ip address in my house's private network 192.168.2.x address space, only to realize twelve hours later I had been typing through my ssh connection to the server. Fortunately, my server is a virtual one, and was easily reset once I had learned of its state --- it took another twenty minutes digging through log files until I discovered the cause. Oops.

Fruitless Tech Support

I just went over with a friend and his laptop to a more distant acquaintance who was having problems connecting to the Internet. Her daughter had been over earlier with her own computer so that she could read her own email, but that computer didn't work either. I was accompanying a third machine to be connected to a neat little RCA box that Cogeco cable uses as their black box connection to the internet. You merely connect to the box, et voila, you're online at 100Mb/s. Or at least that's the theory --- when it works.

So here I was tagging along in a purely supporting role as machine three tried its luck. And lucky it was. So everything seemed ok and we reconnected the original machine and it was working too --- for a while. Then it started to complain that various web sites didn't exist. You had to hit them two or three times before they responded, but eventually they did respond, and quickly too. "Aww, that's just the domain name servers acting up", I chimed in, "That's easy to fix --- don't do anything and Cogeco will eventually fix it for us. It's not our problem at all". I was wrong, as it turned out. This wasn't just a transient problem but the final stages of chronic net rot which had been going on for some time.

Test blog using Performancing tool of FireFox

This is a test using FireFox instead of BloGTK.  It is nicely integrated with the browser and, mirabile visu, it is a WYSIWYG editor.

Of course, it also doesn't integrate properly with drupal's input formatting so what I can see as I type appears on the web as literal tags!  I would have to go in and change the input formats for the message to get the correct display.  Now, there is a way to get a blog client to set this using some obscure variable, via the rpc; however, I don't think performancing will do this for me.  It may just be possible to embed a code in the body, but I don't know the protocol well enough for that.

Input format is a bit of a misnomer --- drupal saves the unaltered text in the database and transforms it each time the page is rendered --- so postprocessing isn't as onerous as it sounds.  It does add an unnecessary step which a blog client is supposed to paper over.

Hmm, I accidently saved two versions of a single post.  Clearly I pressed the wrong button.  Let's try again.

This is a test of a blog posting using the BloGTK client.

It seemed to work well the first time around. Now I'll see whether this will edit the existing entry or post a completely new one.

Cool. It seemed to work as advertised. The client is rather ugly as isn't a WYSIWYG editor which I thought was the whole point of using a desktop app instead of a simple browser. It does speelcheck however, which is useful me!

Hmm. Drupal is using the wrong input format filters. Of course I have set the default as appropriate for anonymous users, but I'm not an anonymous user, and would like prettier postings.

First Post

Here is my very first attempt at using drupal to blog. It is necessarily short as I am already overdue to turn off this computer.

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