Not much canola involved, though.


That's my bicycle chain being soaked overnight in 50/50 ATF and gearbox oil, after I cleaned it yesterday evening (soda bottle, kerosene and a few drops kitchen degreaser, plop chain in, shake, fish it out, done). I read that chainsaw oil is even better for lubricating bicycle chains, but that's what I had readily available at home. The gearbox oil is very thick, the ATF not so, both are meant for lubricating gears, so what could go wrong.

Having an SRAM "powerlink" in the chain makes opening the chain and getting it off really easy and fast, and involves no tools except two hands - with at least twelve fingers, as it's a bit fiddly the first time. Taking the chain off is generally messy, but that's no big deal - I use cheap disposable latex gloves from the supermarket for such grease-fests anyway (but, unfortunately, kerosene eats through the cheap latex gloves /very/ very quickly).

I actually do like preventive maintenance: it's great to fix things and make them work again, but to me it's even cooler to make them work perfectly before they break down completely. I know, pedantic and perfectionist, get a life and all that - I simply can't help it :-)

This preference of mine could be a bit of generational back-swing, because my father absolutely hates preventive work - and often pays a heavy price for that...

[ published on Fri 25.03.2011 14:22 | filed in interests | ]

(that's the Gold Coast in, not the region in Africa.)

The next Gold Coast Barcamp will be held at Bond on the 2.4.2011, and I will run a small keysigning session. If privacy and strong crypto interest you and you're in the region, have a look at the overview page here.

[ published on Tue 22.03.2011 19:40 | filed in interests/crypto | ]

acute angle, doubleplus-uncute pissed-off human, acute pain.

why? i highsided my bicycle just an hour ago: i chose too acute an angle when passing from the grass onto a concrete pathway, the grass was high and hid the large difference in height, the front tire caught and stayed down on the grass and i got tossed over the frame and deposited onto the concrete.

one big bruise on my hip, a skinned knee and forearm/elbow. not too bad but still annoying. the second half of my usual 26km round was not exactly comfortable - but i did not shorten the distance.

[ published on Tue 22.03.2011 18:09 | filed in still-not-king | ]

I detest udev. With a passion. Because of bugs like #453356 or #339797 and as a matter of general principle because it's overcomplex, brittle, and Just Plain Wrong. No, a dynamic /dev is not generally desirable. No, I don't want you to fuck up my /dev and slow down every single boot by redoing the same damn crap all the time. No, I don't like your rule language or your lousy diagnostics.

So I consider myself the president-and-first-member of the G.R.O.S.U. ("Get Rid of Slimy Udev") club. But I do eat my own dog food (debian developer and all that), so here's my alternative setup to avoid udev without losing useful capabilities:

Udev itself I get rid of by creating a dummy dependency fulfiller package using equivs. Here's the resulting .deb for the lazy ones.

The few hotplugging activities that I do like to handle (eg. initializing the Bluetooth env if/when I use the killswitch, or auto-mounting removable storage) I take care of with hotplug: ancient, trusty, simple, totally sufficient.

Here's my cut-down-and-minimized hotplug package. Share and enjoy.

[ published on Sun 20.03.2011 23:10 | filed in interests/debian | ]

[not exactly new but still quite funny. I've got to say it also works for longtime non-citizen residents...]
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 18.03.2011 15:24 | filed in interests/au | ]

Writing exams is definitely not my favourite work, in particular coming up with clear, nice, sensible-looking, unambiguous - but still red herri^W^Wwrong answers for multiple choice questions.

At least I can give students a proper workout with my style of multiple choice questions, which - quel surprise! - usually have multiple correct answers. Every now and then it's also correct to tick none or all the boxes, just for variety's sake (and to discourage guessing).

Nasty, what, me? Now where do you get that impression from?

[ published on Fri 18.03.2011 15:13 | filed in brainfarts | ]

For sysadmins, that is. (automation, robustness etc.pp.) For people in solo households (like me) it's not so definite.

I dislike cleaning, but I like it when the house is clean. Specifically, I dislike scrubbing the kitchen sink/washbasin strainers and their surrounds: always somewhat grotty and lots of brushing required to keep them nice.

But yesterday I found out that there's a super-lazy solution for that: put in the stopper, pour in some bleach, let it stand for an hour or so, then unstopper the drain and you're done. Results were shiny and dirt-free.

[ published on Tue 15.03.2011 12:51 | filed in still-not-king | ]

die gewählten volksverdreher haben jetzt beschlossen, die vorratsdatenspeicherung durchzuziehen. super, damit simma wieder ein stückel näher an der globalen vorfront was die widerlichkeit betrifft.

und, schwuppdiwupp, plötzlich fällt sogar dem kanzleramt auf dass die vds keine Gute Idee ist.

welch wunder: selbst die sonst regulierwütigen deutschen haben die vds als nicht verfassungs-konform abgelehnt. und wie ein kommentar im online-standard bemerkt, gilt das auch für andere, nicht grad als menschenrechts-lieblinge bekannte länder wie rumänien: die haben auch schon vor zwei jahren festgestellt dass vds, verfassung und die europäische menschenrechts-konvention einfach nicht zusammengehen.

[ published on Fri 04.03.2011 14:01 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Dear nginx developers, not every web client is a desktop running the Internet Exploder. As you insist on force-feeding all of us others everything in Content-Encoding: gzip regardless of how often we tell you NOT TO FEED US ANYTHING BUT THE UNMANGLED DATA, I insist on calling you rfc-ignorant dimbulbs.

[ published on Fri 04.03.2011 13:37 | filed in interests/anti | ]

Debian Silver Server
© Alexander Zangerl