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6 @ home

I just got a dlink ip6-enabled router for $30 at <i>The Source</i>. Now bell doesn't give me ip6 access via the dsl link, so this can only do tunnelling to the greater ip6 internet, but that in itself is a great improvement over my old set-up which used a very unfriendly ip4 NAT.


So things are largely set up on the server, just waiting for to go live on the wuug nameservers ( is holding out for some reason). The git repository is set up at The public-6 branch will automatically checkout into /srv/drupal-6/sites/ which is the root of the config space for This checkout is done with user credentials, so I hope I confgured the group permissions correctly. I really should test this with a nested checkout to see whether checked out directories have the appropriate permissions and group ownership. I am setting the umask in the git update hook so it only a matter of the group for newly created files and directories that may be off. I have set the setgid bit on the root directory, and all new users are getting wuug as their primary group, so the only potential snag is in checkouts from me! This is my first attempt at administration for multiple users, so I may have messed it up.

I only have two users so far! And no activity.

drush and the server fork bomb

drush (the drupal shell) is a nice command line tool that I have installed on the server for the wuug drupal project. It has the nice ability to be able to work through a remote instance via ssh --- or so the documentation says --- in my case it fork bombed the server --- the OOM killer played havoc with my server and still failed to slow down the fork bomb. What a mess.

Ubuntu Netbook Edition

So my diminutive Acer Aspire One is now running Ubuntu Netbook Edition and seems to like it, although the initial two tries at installing it failed utterly. The second failure was the worst as the system seems to have gotten stuck in a swap storm. It had been installed but was running very slowly, and then had to rush off elsewhere --- on returning a couple of hours later it was writing to the SSD like mad and completely unresponsive. Only a magic SysRq key could give me my system back so I rebooted and only then remembered I had left it doing a software update --- oops, no kernel! How can an installer only a few days old be so out of date? I had reused some existing partitions in the installer, but not their contents, so I have no idea what the difference was between the final successful install and the disaster immediately before it. Indeed, I expected the final install to be as bad as the others --- I can't remember what I hoped to achieve. Surprisingly the third time worked like a charm. Very odd.

Linux and tmpdevfs

So I downloaded the patches to get to from my 2.6.31 set-up and ran make oldconfig --- it gave me the option to run devtmpfs and mount it on /dev before starting /sbin/init. Why not. So a short compile later and a reboot and debian lenny likes devtmpfs. Nice to know.

Waiting for Thewuug


It appears the only way to delete a planet post is to overwrite the original with a new post in its stead. I wrote a silly little thing to be up for a day, and expected it to disappear from the planet when I nuked the original post. But the planet doesn't work that way and preserves the old stuff in perpetuity unless you edit the original and push it out in your feed. OK. I know now. Don't post silly ephemeral posts as they will soon look ridiculous.

Gentoo File Manager


My favourite file manager has been upgraded for gtk2 and I couldn't be happier. The gtk1 version that is installed in Lenny is terminally broken and, as a result, I have been trying to use other file managers without much joy.. The gtk2 version has been out for several months but today's code dump (version 0.15.4) is stable enough to warrant a post to the blog.

The Gentoo file manager [] doesn't do drag-and-drop, it doesn't do tree views, it doesn't do previews, it doesn't do many of things of modern flashy file browsers do --- and is all the better for it (those things are nice but I don't really miss them) The things it does do it does very well. Even better it avoids the worst sins of more "modern" file managers that drive me space --- things such as:

  • executing files when the exec bit set instead of openning them for edit
  • choking on large directories

A Design for Hexadecimal Digits


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F --- how ugly mixing letters and digits together like that. In order to remain consistent with the 10 decimal digits that are independent from the alphabet, we really need 6 more digit-like characters for hexdecimal numbers. To this end I have been considering what these digits should look like. Having some resemblence to the letters A-F or their lowercase equivalents is clearly desirable but not essential. Using the forms of existing digits so they look in place seems reasonable, so long as the digits are clearly distinguishable from each other.

Suggestively B (eleven = 8 + 3) looks like its octal representation 13. F (fifteen = 8 + 7 = octal 17) looks like a mirrored 7 crossed in the european style. If we munge 1 and 5 together the result looks kind of like a D or a d with a decoration on top (D = thirteen = 8 + 5 = octal 15). So we have the basis of character representation for hexadecimal digits taking its inspiration from octal --- very nice.

To express A, C and E in terms of octal 12, 14 and 16 requires a greater suspension of disbelief (a facility in which I personally excel).


hexadecimal digits realized

Basilisk II

My old 68030 based Macintosh LC III in its bodily form is gathering dust upstairs, but its spirit lives on through an extraordinary emulator called Basilisk II. I just got around to porting the LC III's partition images from my old dell box to the new core 2 box and am pleased at how well it runs. Despite the LC III application software being totally obsolete, it is still quite functional and fast --- very very very fast.
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