Tomorrow I'm off for a week of Killarney Comp Flying, hopefully a lot of fun. More info when I come back.

[ published on Fri 01.10.2004 00:33 | filed in still-not-king | ]
"Being a maintenance programmer is such a privileged joy and honor. I get to spend anywhere from eight to twelve, sometimes as many as sixteen straight hours a day locked in an eight by eight cube grinding my ass out writing code that you freaks don't appreciate."

What a beautiful rant, make sure to read this while it's still there.
Link to the rant

[ published on Mon 27.09.2004 13:06 | filed in interests/humour | ]

I like the Go Faster Wheels in particular.

Update (Mon 27.09.2004 13:04):

This thing is a photoshopped fake, by the way.

[ published on Sat 25.09.2004 01:24 | filed in interests/humour | ]

This spam just came in via Tiscali UK. Apparently the spammers have discovered the magics of Babelfish. But true to form they botched it: the babblefish mangles (apparently) reasonable English into hilarious stuff quite totally unlike German...
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 25.09.2004 01:06 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Found this hilarious picture on the blog of an aussie geek.

[ published on Sat 25.09.2004 00:50 | filed in interests/anti | ]

With the upcoming kitchen replacement I've had to re-evaluate a lot of todos and got a bit of a push to shorten that list.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 23.09.2004 13:58 | filed in interests/au | ]

This is something of a bulk update; I've accumulated some stuff in the last ten days but never got around to write it up properly and didn't post anything.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 23.09.2004 13:56 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Received this email a few days ago:
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 21.09.2004 00:07 | filed in interests/anti | ]

If you read this in a catalogue, what would you expect?
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 20.09.2004 23:31 | filed in still-not-king | ]

This counterscript (german only) is a pretty fun step-by-step guide for annoying telemarketers.

[ published on Tue 14.09.2004 00:11 | filed in interests/anti | ] what I've had this weekend.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 13.09.2004 11:35 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Today I left work early and headed up to the hills, in hope of getting some flying. The weather was beautiful, but nil clouds.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 11.09.2004 00:50 | filed in interests/flying | ]

That's my current flying tally after 2.5 years.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 09.09.2004 15:15 | filed in interests/flying | ]

The last two days it's been raining here. Lousy for flying, lousy for my mood but good for the land. The grass in the backyard is growing nicely. Still, for me it's a good thing that those grey days are very rare here.

[ published on Thu 09.09.2004 13:45 | filed in still-not-king | ]

I like my house. It's old (for Gold Coast bungalow standards, at 17 years), but in fair shape and close enough to work for me to walk there in just 11 minutes door-to-office. With the car the trip takes about 9 minutes because of the huge detour involved, so walking is really a good option.

These are pics of the view from just outside my garage to the west, and the workplace from the park outside the complex (I had a panorama of that view, too, but chucked it as being too lousy. Will do again.)

 2004_07_20-view-west-from-garage.jpg winter at landau court 2004_08_13-bond-from-home.jpg just outside the complex fence 2004_08_13-evening-at-home.jpg just before sunset

However, there were a few bad spots on this appl^Whouse. One is that it's real close to the wild hill and termites abound. There's some in the retaining/decorative walls around near the fence, and in the forest for sure. The building inspectors last year claimed some old damage evidence, too. So I had a chem barrier done when I moved in last year, but you never know.

The inspection later last year showed none, and on the 26.8. I had the pest guys in again, for an inspection and a general spray. They didn't find any crawlies, and the fellow crawling through the roof klonking on the trusses didn't turn up anything bad. Very reassuring, and they weren't expensive, either.

Another problem is the kitchen being ready for replacement. Well, that's being taken care of right now, with the bathroom scheduled for next year or so.

The last problem I found was a nastily sagging ceiling in the living room. I realised this when I painted the ceiling early last November. Being a Wellconditioned European, I was very much worried by this: when a ceiling is sagging in places where houses are built, not just nailed together, this is a doomsday sign.

I feared the roof trusses themselves having sagged and didn't even as much as look into the roof cavity so that I wouldn't be shocked by the potential badness there. (I'm a big pessimist and avoidance is one of my skills. I'm good at both, occasionally too good.)

In short I dreaded that the house I've enslaved myself for to the bank would fall apart before I'd finish paying it off (which, after doing some non-panicky simple calculations, would still leave me with a living place for not more money than renting would cost me), and I didn't want to uncover any nasty surprises (which I was awaiting anyway) - thus the avoidance of certain tasks. So much for history.

After the pesties were gone I was feeling up and ready to tackle a couple of the DIY tasks I've had on the todo list for a year. First item was to buy matching replacement ceiling fans and mounting them. One fan had a grumbling main bearing that heated up badly, and another was totally unmatched, with a horrible non-recessed controller unit on the wall - super-ugly.

The fans were cheap, $52 each for the ones with light and $42 or so for the lightless one.

Item two was to resow the lawn in the back, which had a couple of very dusty bare spots where the jungle had been cleared earlier. Now, after two weeks the grass is growing beautifully. Very nice, indeed.

But back to technology (Oz-style). A day after doing the backyard and buying the gear, the weekend was there and the wind was too strong for flying. So I decided to do the fans.

Two of them were easy to mount as the old mounts were conveniently located beneath trusses to screw the anchor to. The electrical stuff I had to redo completely, with new controller panels etc. Cheap bastards had only twirled the protective earth, put some solder on it and then wrapped it in isolating tape. Assholes!

 2004_08_27-oz-electrics.jpg erde verdröselt, verzinnt + isolierband

The third wasn't anywhere near a truss, and hung from a big hook which I couldn't use for the new ones anyway.

So I finally relented and realised I had to get into the roof. As the pesties had been spraying just two days before there wouldn't be any (live) critters up there.

Donning my dirtiest clothes, I entered the manhole in anticipation of the very worst.
But there wasn't anything to be afraid of. The replacement of the fan was simple, just had to improvise an anchor for it resting on the closest two trusses (easy-peasy).

And my worries about the ceiling also were unfounded. OZ construction is nail-only (as much as I could see anywhere so far). The ceiling plasterboard is simply nailed to the underside of the trusses. That's all that holds it up. Naturally, after 17 years, a fair number of those nails had loosened and the ceiling drooped where the biggest stretches are.

So I've got another item on the todo list: push the ceiling plasterboard up and screw it in place properly. I'll do that with the kitchen work as it'll be dirty.

While crawling through the roof I also decided that now would be a good opportunity to move the speaker cables for the rear speakers in the living room into the ceiling (instead of having them tacked underneath it). For once, Oz construction actually has advantages beyond just being cheap: take a screwdriver, extend arm upward, poke a hole, and thread the cable. Finished. :-)

 2004_08_27-new-fan.jpg  2004_08_27-new-fan-no-cables.jpg ls kabel in dach

The next projects: replacing the kitchen, new antenna on the roof, a whirlybird roof ventilator, and neatify some cabling. Ah yes, and finally get a safety switch installed (which unfortunately means I'll have to replace the switchbox as the dumbasses installed a tiny one with not a single slot left...grrr.)

[ published on Thu 09.09.2004 13:40 | filed in interests/au | ]

I am. However, I've been a wee bit busy and stuff has been piling up that was of way higher importance than doing blog posts...

So, on to a quick recap.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 09.09.2004 13:35 | filed in still-not-king | ]

as documented in bug 242378, the spambutt has a problem with expiring the bayes database. somehow a lot of atime entries get set far into the future, and the butt doesn't recognize this properl - and sits on its butt, chugging along and retrying the wrong things over and over again.


after finding a tool called which can fix the entries and playing around with it i've decided to use the big hammer on wherever atime is written to the db, we do a sanity check.

this patch addes these crude measures, and will hopefully keep my bayes dbs in fair shape. YMMV.

[ published on Wed 08.09.2004 15:38 | filed in mystuff | ]

Item 1:

"Diebold Global Election Management System (GEMS) Backdoor Account Allows Authenticated Users to Modify Votes reported a vulnerability in the Diebold GEMS central tabulator. A local authenticated user can enter a two-digit code in a certain "hidden" location to cause a second set of votes to be created on the system. This second set of votes can be modified by the local user and then read by the voting system as legitimate votes, the report said."

Cool debugging feature, but totally inappropriate in critical software like that. Anyway, Diebold is enjoying good business with various US states and that's all that matters...NOT!
Link to the Diebold story at BlackBoxVoting, Link to Lessig's blog

Item 2:

"Microsoft Patents The Obvious (Again) Looks like Microsoft has yet again patented plainly obvious technologies that have existed for years and years. No, I'm not talking about their patent of the sudo command. This time Microsoft has been granted a patent for nothing less than using your keyboard to navigate a web page!"

Well, the Oz patent office actually gave some fellow a patent on the wheel...quite recently.
Link to the full story

[ published on Wed 08.09.2004 01:59 | filed in interests/anti | ]

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