This was a really shitty year, started crappy and ends the same. And guess what? the next one looks just as bleak as this one, and the one before and so on.

Seven more, then she's 18 and I've fulfilled my parental obligations and can check out without feeling guilty. I hope that she gets rid of her buoyancy aid around the belly before that, and that she can enjoy her life more than I do mine.

[ published on Sun 31.12.2006 12:34 | filed in still-not-king | ]

A pretty fun writeup of the 11 worst toys. Not in my book, though: worst, I'd say, only in the opinion of the bloody landsharks, ahem, liability lawyers; what a PITY that these things got recalled! I'd have loved to see more unthinking proto-idiots kill themselves...

On this happy note of unmitigated antisocial ranting we conclude this Christmas bulletin.

[ published on Mon 25.12.2006 12:09 | filed in interests/humour | ]

das material vom Österreich Institut zum deutschlernen beinhaltet auch auszüge aus Indien, dortamts im schönsprech "Filmdidaktisierung" getauft. Schon schön deppat wenn einer grad den film zum lernen kriegt; den verstehns ja schon links von Kufstein nimmer mehr. "europasiegel für innovative sprachprojekte", my ass...

[ published on Tue 28.11.2006 19:35 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Just finished watching "Komm Süsser Tod" on SBS. Strange to see Austrian movies on Australian state television, the Viennese settings, the dialect etc. The subtitles were an especially funny bonus...but likely involuntarily. Some figures of speech are simply untranslatable, and it was very obvious that the subtitles were made by some non-Austrian...translating from one strange language into another very foreign one :-)

[ published on Fri 17.11.2006 00:18 | filed in brainfarts | ]

I like the xkcd comic strips very much, but reading comics on lotsa pages sucks. dailystrips doesn't come with support with xkcd, and I couldn't find anybody else's setup to steal. This definition snippet takes care of xkcd.

strip xkcd
        name xkcd
        type search
        searchpattern <img\s+src="([^"]+.png)"
        matchpart 1
        provides latest
[ published on Sun 12.11.2006 11:24 | filed in interests/humour | ]

It's not exactly the CSS Zen Garden but not too bad either. I think.

Two weeks ago I rebuilt the chgc website from scratch, with nice new images, no more tables, standards compliant HTML and CSS and so on. I also got rid of \rho's HTML++ thingie and replaced the automation guts with Mason (but still statically rendering everything).

Comparing this with the current setup I'm pleased with the results.

[ published on Fri 10.11.2006 12:05 | filed in interests/comp | ]

In the onion's words:

"After months of aggressive campaigning and with nearly 99 percent of ballots counted, politicians were the big winners in Tuesday's midterm election, ..."

[ published on Thu 09.11.2006 13:08 | filed in interests/anti | ]

This weekend illustrates this, um, nicely.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 06.11.2006 10:35 | filed in still-not-king | ]

...of Things Going Wrong can be found at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's website. Somewhat morose at times, with titles like "Collision with terrain".

I find the investigation reports quite interesting, not just because of me flying paragliders but in general. But then I'm a nerd, always happy to learn something new.

[ published on Wed 25.10.2006 16:48 | filed in brainfarts | ]

The weather was...suboptimal this weekend, so I mostly lazed it away. I fixed the over-sensitive smoke detector (recipe before: start toaster, get jolted by the klaxon, run into hallway, unplug the detector's battery...). Soldering a switch in to disconnect the horn was easy, and better than disconnecting the battery (because on replug the beast emits a number of loud screeches so that you know you're not deaf just yet).

Also started working on my latest home improvement project (ha!), which is replacing the sliding cupboard doors in the bedroom and office. The frame has been doctored (because it had a bulkhead in the way), and I've started some woodworking to make Shoji-style door frames; got a new backsaw and a vise, made me a bench hook etc.

But I'm not any good at woodworkingy yet, unfortunately: my level of perfection is mostly on the screw-butt or (at best) half-lap joint level. Yesterday I tried a bridle joint, but it got fucked up pretty badly: too imprecise, mortise too wide, tenon too thin and the cuts/chiselled bits have lousy edges. The reasons are that I have little experience, no table saw, no router (yet...), and that I'm a bit impatient with the tenon saw. Net result: get more (cheap) timber, and ponder the cheap ($80 or so) plunge router kits out there.

But, all in all making sawdust can be quite a bit of fun :-)

[ published on Mon 23.10.2006 11:31 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Perl is a programming language, just like C, only it is even weirder.

$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=++$a + $a++; print "$b\n";'
$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=++$a + ++$a; print "$b\n";'
$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=$a-- + $a++; print "$b\n";'
$ perl -e '$a=3; $b=--$a + ++$a; print "$b\n";'

My Bizarrotron just broke its indicator needle. Fascinating!

[ published on Sun 22.10.2006 15:10 | filed in interests/comp | ]

I wonder: did Adam+Eve succumb to this problem when they took that bloody apple?

[ published on Wed 18.10.2006 10:41 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Two weeks ago I refurbished an inherited PC (thanks Richard!) to become my desktop (1.6GHz P4, cd-burner, 64mb Geforce2 but only 256mb RAM). I bought 2x1gb DDR memory modules, with the rationale being that I'd better max the thing today, when this particular kind of memory is actually readily available. Did a quick bit of research as to compatibility, seemed fine. Thought I got a good deal at $170 for a new unopened HP-branded pack (when this seller's other items went for $200+). On insertion the box wouldn't even peep. Surprise, surprise.

I didn't realise at first that I had ordered buffered/registered+ecc rams. It turns out that most PC chipsets only deal with unbuffered/unregistered ram, and that I hadn't done my homework sufficiently well. Some Cursing ensued. The replacement pack cost me $270, because there's once again a shitload of fine print to consider when you buy large memory modules (this time it's "high-density"...I remember SIPP vs. SIMM and FPM vs. EDO, a nd single- vs. double-sided and...all this other PC crap).

So I put the Reg+ECC simms on ebay, hoping to recoup at least some of the loss.

Today the pack sold for $451, the money is already in my account and the parcel is shipped. 8-]

[ published on Fri 13.10.2006 19:26 | filed in brainfarts | ]

While life in general is very much on the crap side right now, at least in some things I do prevail against the odds.

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 09.10.2006 00:45 | filed in still-not-king | ]

I haven't had any decent flying since February or so. The stats are fairly ugly.


Last week we had the Canungra Cup in the area; I had taken the week off and was hoping for at least some XC flying with the retrieves arranged.

The Friday before the comp I got sick, something flu-ish with fever and general crookedness. Saturday, Sunday and partially Monday the others flew and I sweated feverish and slept. Tuesday and Wednesday I was on the hill but didn't like the conditions much, thus didn't fly. Thursday I did fly, but only a sleddie; it was a bit rough out there and I didn't fight much against being dumped in the bombout. Friday and Saturday I didn't even drive up to Canungra, because I didn't want to fly anymore: no motivation, only general depression. Didn't go to the presentation dinner either, as I had no wish to see any of the (mostly happy) 69 other pilots at all.

Taken altogether, this sucks plenty. I have no idea how I'll get back into the saddle.

In other not-yet-news, I ordered the steerable reserve from Switzerland two weeks ago; eagerly awaiting the delivery...

[ published on Mon 09.10.2006 00:32 | filed in interests/flying | ]

While not exactly anticipating this, it was always clear that this idea needs some Tender Loving Care in form of a swift kick in the ass.

[ published on Fri 22.09.2006 01:38 | filed in interests/anti | ]

At work we've got a slightly stuffed main proxy which occasionally just stops finishing to serve a request halfway. Very annoying, especially as I must use that thing...when FAI-installing 24 Debian boxes unattendedly (via another intermediary proxy under my control).

This has bitten me in the past a few times, because cfengine1 doesn't have any easy means of figuring out that a script hasn't succeeded. With the main proxy wandering off into la-la land, this led to some halfbaked installs.

Not anymore. apt-cacher may be imperfect, but the version in etch/testing finally has a lean set of depencies and together with squid and jesred (or a similar redirector) it's easy to make everything work transparently.

That way the client config does not need to be changed at all: they all have normal source URLs, and they have to go through my proxy for web access anyway. On that fw/proxy box, I added this to jesred.rules:

regex ^http://((.*)/debian/(dists|pool)/.*)$\1

which makes everything remotely resembling Debian package info go to the apt-cacher which runs standalone on port 3142. A bit of twiddling with squid's always_direct and never_direct directives later, and heureka! it actually works...

[ published on Thu 21.09.2006 14:32 | filed in mystuff | ]

...I've been flying again, yesterday arvo. Finally!
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 19.09.2006 21:14 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Do not spray electrical contact cleaner into your T610 mobile, because depending on where you point the bloody nozzle you will fuck up the LCD.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 19.09.2006 12:31 | filed in brainfarts | ]

Some photos taken while Conny and Barbara were visiting me (End of July - End of August).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 17.09.2006 00:06 | filed in still-not-king | ]
[ published on Fri 15.09.2006 21:21 | filed in interests/humour | ]

Or is it just that Usenet is dying anyway and that there is more revenue in spamming myspace wankers? Dunno, but the less idiots on Usenet, the better for the rest of us.

And Hooray! Dejagargoyle's archive finally shows email addresses again (with a bit of confuse-the-bot stuff, but that doesn't hurt). I was pretty annoyed when they started address munging, but whoever's in charge of dejagargoyle seemes to have been subjected to a properly sized cluebat.

[ published on Fri 15.09.2006 16:38 | filed in interests/usenet | ]
"It seems that you've been living two lives. One life, you're "NC2", programming subject for a respectable degree. You have a Bozo Code, pay your taxes, and you... help your students produce their garbage. The other life is lived in faculty computers, where you go by the hacker alias "INFT13-334" and are guilty of virtually every programming sin we have a commandment for. One of these subjects has a future, and one of them does not."

Tuesday last week I was told to teach a subject this semester. This semester as in "lectures start on Monday, 11.09."...a whopping four days to prep for a subject I haven't done before; it's also one where the available material is quite lousy. Two different lecturers have taught it before, and one of them...

Back to the trenches, then.

[ published on Fri 15.09.2006 16:16 | filed in brainfarts | ]

If you've got a good answer to that, let me know. Mine currently is a little bit weird, being: "life? not very much. less likelihood of major injuries: quite a bit"
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 12.09.2006 17:27 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Just found this guy via Boingboing: This one I like a lot. He also has a nastier side. Enjoy.

[ published on Mon 04.09.2006 15:50 | filed in interests/humour | ]

I've submitted my PhD thesis today. I'm reasonably confident that the examiners won't absolutely destroy it, so normal life (FSVO normal) can now continue.

But why am I not super-elated? Because while my problems have gone down in number with this event, my exwife (and thus our kid) are wading through serious shit at this moment :-(

Their vacation here was pretty good, busy but we've had a lot of fun (and I'll post some pictures in a few days), but now their life in the US is blowing up into their faces big time. First they bought a house in Philadelphia, which was expected to be a renovation job, but it turned out that the renovation required was way beyond their expectations. Of course they ran out of money badly with this discovery. Then they had to move out of their old apartment, but not being able to use the house yet as it's a construction desaster zone right now. So they moved to a place outside town which belongs to relatives of the ex's partner. And latest news as of this morning was that that partner is losing it badly, and has chucked them out onto the street in the middle of the night 8-(

Now I can't do anything to help them from here. But worry I can and do... (There must be some reasonable people out there, but the ex apparently always picks the wrong me, a long time ago).

Sigh. thumbs crossed for B. and C.

[ published on Thu 31.08.2006 16:33 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Poor Pluto.

[ published on Sun 27.08.2006 11:47 | filed in brainfarts | ]

...merely really busy, so here's a short heads-up. I just gave the second draft of my PhD thesis to my supervisor, final submission is on the 31st; the (ex-)family is currently visiting me and we'll drive to Fraser Island or Sydney tomorrow (not clear yet which first), and things are generally jam-packed. Not a bad situation, mind you, just a bit...much so I don't think I'll be writing anything for this website before the end of the month.

[ published on Tue 15.08.2006 11:53 | filed in still-not-king | ]

Greg Egan's SF scenarios are about as complex and mind-boggling as anything Stephen Hawking would come up with. His stuff earns the Capital S in SF.

I just finished "Distress": quite nice, relatively accessible. "Diaspora" was an extremely weird tale, as was "Quarantine". So far, my personal favourite among his books is "Permutation City". You can tell that he's a programmer, but he must be smoking Good Stuff at times...

[ published on Sun 23.07.2006 23:20 | filed in interests | ]

Some articles about an Auckland police woman who's been moonlighting as a prostitute. (Who will not lose her job or anything: prostitution is legal in NZ.) Pretty weird stuff.

[ published on Fri 21.07.2006 22:29 | filed in brainfarts | ]

newer... older...

Debian Silver Server
© Alexander Zangerl