Greg
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February 2004
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Sunday, 1 February 2004 Wantadilla -> Port Lincoln, 728 km Images for 1 February 2004
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Up early this morning to get a good start for the Nullarbor trip, and actually managed to leave within a minute of our planned departure time of 7 am. Up through the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley before we discovered that we also would pass through the Clare Valley–three famous wine areas in a couple of hours.

It proved that our road atlas was short on accuracy, and the road we had chosen as a “main road” was in fact nothing of the kind. The atlas also had the wrong number. Still, traffic was negligible, and we made good time, arriving in Port Augusta by 11 am. On through Whyalla down to Port Lincoln, where we arrived at 2:30 pm. After a bit of orientation, checked into the Grand Tasman Hotel, then off to the marina for a couple of beers.

In the evening ate local produce in the hotel restaurant: King George Whiting and Bluefin Tuna, the latter made famous in Port Lincoln. It fetches record prices in Japan, but here I was given so much to eat that I couldn't finish it.


Monday, 2 February 2004 Port Lincoln -> Eucla, 941 km (-1¾ hours) Images for 2 February 2004
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Up even earlier than planned today, and had a reasonably good breakfast before setting off westwards at only 7:40 am. Made pretty good time up the west coast of the Eyre peninsula, stopping for some photos of some remarkably pretty cliffs. The only problem was that they were not described in any of our copious documentation, nor at the place. Looking at the map, I have decided they must be to the west of Lake Hamilton, but nothing gives them a name.

On to Ceduna, passing an ancient (1,500 million years old) outcrop of stone known as “Murphy's haytstacks” on the way. Then through Penong to Fowler's Bay, a name that has enchanted me because of the song of the station cook (link to follow when I have an Internet connection again; it should be sufficient to google for “But oh dear, I feel so queer, I don't know what to do”). Got there after 23 kilometers of dirt road through remarkably dreary country to find a remarkably dreary village. On the way we decided that Fowler's Bay could never have been a sheep shearing location, and my guess is that at the time the name was applied to the whole district, and that the shearing shed was in fact in Penong–through which we had driven without a thought.

On through the Nullarbor Regional Reserve, visiting a couple of famous cliff sites in the process. The first one was a total loss, but the second was quite nice; neither in my opinion as nice as the anonymous one near Lake Hamilton on the Eyre peninsula.

At the border crossing we had one of the most serious car searches since the end of the Soviet régime (to check whether we were carrying fruit). Since there had been warning signs for the previous 500 km, Dad had eaten the two plums we had with us, but the people in the car in front of us were not so lucky: they had a whole bag of fruit confiscated. I wonder how much they'll be fined.

My concerns about documenting the Central Time Zone were unfounded: at the border crossing there was a set of clocks, and another in Eucla (which should, apparently, be pronounced (German phonetics) Jökla, meaning bright light), where we arrived at about 3 pm. We had booked a room there, but I wasn't feeling too tired, and the thought of stopping in the middle of nowhere at 3 pm didn't fill me with joy. The next reasonable place to stay was Cocklebiddie, however, about 300 km away, and Dad wasn't too keen, so we stayed there, visiting a half buried telegraph station and drinking many beers waiting for it to become 6 pm. Then had dinner and early to bed.


Tuesday, 3 February 2004 Eucla -> Esperance, 921 km (-¾ hour) Images for 3 February 2004
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The change of time zone and loss of daylight savings got us up earlier than intended this morning, and as we set off for breakfast we realised that we weren't hungry. Instead set off west to Cocklebiddy, where Dad still wasn't hungry, so on to Madura, about 180 km from Eucla, where we had a very ordinary breakfast. Thence on to Norseman, a total distance of 708 kilometres, something like the width of Germany, where we had lunch.

This isn't the first time I've driven long distances; indeed, none of the drives we've done so far have exceeded 1000 km. In June 1986 we drove from Lannemézan in Haute Garonne (Pyrénées region of France) to Rosbach (100 km north of Frankfurt am Main in Germany), a distance of about 1450 kilometres. So what was different today? It was the feeling that nothing had changed. The lack of traffic and the surprisingly good condition of the roads mean that it's possible to do faster averages over the Nullarbor than it is over European freeways. We were in Norseman by lunch and in Esperance shortly after 3 pm. The European trip didn't get us home until 10 pm. Also, Norseman didn't seem very different from Eucla. Lannemézan and Rosbach seem worlds apart.

Part of the drive included the longest “straight“ stretch of road in the world, 146.6 km without a bend. It wasn't as hypnotic as I had feared: the direction didn't change in the horizontal plane, but it went up and down a lot, and the landscape kept changing, so in fact it wasn't as tiring as some much shorter stretches of old German Autobahn.

The time zone thing was also interesting: everywhere we went we saw indications of the time zone. I had originally intended to call it the Caiguna time zone, in the assumption that Caiguna was the most important “town” in the area. In fact, the time zone stops just before Caiguna, and in any case it seems that Eucla is the more important of the two “towns” in the area (the other is Cocklebiddy). At least Eucla has some non-tourist oriented people there (the Bureau of Meteorology has a station there), and the settlement seems the biggest. Still, somebody (Luigi Cantoni?) once told me that the whole time zone might be important for being the lowest populated in the world, not more than 200 by his count. I think he might have overestimated: it could be as low as 50.

The incidence of dead kangaroos on the road was interesting. The warning signs also warned of wombats, emus and camels, but all we saw were kangaroos. There were none at all in South Australia (yesterday), and today the distribution was very uneven. The largest number was between Madura and Balladonia. Most were long dead, and even the crows weren't interested. At one point, though, we found out why there were so many: we came up to a couple who were standing in the middle of the road. We had plenty of time to slow down to almost a stop, and we had come to within 10 metres of them before they took notice of us and gradually hopped off. That certainly answers the question of the efficiency of the kangaroo whistles we had on the car: completely useless.

In Esperance, we felt a little more civilized. Another very pretty town. Dad wasn't feeling the brightest: in his motel room, he saw a sign asking guests not to smoke in the rooms. His interpretation: “The management reserves the right to place a live snake in your room.”


Wednesday, 4 February 2004 Esperance -> Denmark, 596 km Images for 4 February 2004
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Got off to a considerably slower start this morning, though the combination of having my room directly opposite the kitchen and the tour bus people shouting in the atrium made it a somewhat moot point. The day started off very warm, and I suspect it must have hit the high 30s in Esperance. Off round the Great Ocean Drive, at the beginning of which the Rotary Club has built a nice lookout over the surrounding area; really a very pretty place. On along some nice beaches, while the ocean drive petered out, anti-culminating in the “pink lake”, which was not. Having seen the real thing in the Coorong, it was a bit of a disappointment.

On to Albany. For some reason we had expected things to become more cultivated after Norseman, but the area is still pretty unsettled. Nice drive through the Stirling Ranges to Albany, which I didn't like particularly. Then to Denmark, where we got a little cottage at the Denmark Waterfront motel. The surroundings were very nice, but organization and details were somewhat haphazard. We were reminded of the Resort PCB, which I describe in my Pantai Cinta Berahi page. Interestingly, that wasn't the only similarity: the main building looked very much like a small version of the main building of the Resort PCB.


Thursday, 5 February 2004 Denmark -> Augusta, 400km Images for 5 February 2004
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Once again woke up earlier than planned. No noise to blame today: it was really peaceful. Decided to make an early start: the motel didn't serve breakfast, so down to Denmark, where we discovered that the only place that served breakfast wasn't open until 8 am (about 25 minutes), so on to Walpole for breakfast, and then back to the Valley of the Giants (giant trees, that is), which is reminiscent in tone to Muir Wood in California. Here the trees are eucalypts, of course, notably Tingle. The treetop walk is an overhead walkway which takes people through the forest without having them trample the delicate roots, not just a gimmick.

Then on to another place to look at... a giant Tingle tree, apparently one of the biggest trees in the world, and one of the few in which people have parked cars. It's not very pretty, though: it has survived a number of bushfires, which have left their mark. Comparing the forests here with places like Yosemite, the forests here look more untidy and less uniform. The American forests have something Disney-esque about them.

On to Pemberton, where we had lunch, then to Cape Leeuwin, where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet. There's a lighthouse there, one of the things that Dad has always wanted to see. Then back to Augusta, where we stayed the night.


Friday, 6 February 2004 Augusta -> Perth, 449 km Images for 6 February 2004
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Off in the wrong direction today to take another look at Cape Leeuwin, including a petrified water wheel that I had missed the first time round. After that, off on the tourist “Caves road” past a whole lot of caves. Visited Mammoth Cave, ostensibly the best for people who aren't too good on their legs, but it was very badly prepared, and Dad couldn't make his way through it all. To add insult to injury, the exit had a climb of 160 steps. It wouldn't have done any harm for them to warn of that in advance; exiting by the entrance would have been trivial.

On to Cape Naturaliste, where the lighthouse was too far away to visit, and back on a leisurely drive to Perth, where we arrived at about 4 pm after a total journey of 4053 km. Drove around looking at Fremantle and Perth, and then to visit Rick and Wendy Tunbridge, old friends of Dad's from his time in Saudi Arabia. Pleasant evening. The Clare valley Shiraz which we brought with us proved not to be enough for the evening, so they brought out another bottle\(emof exactly the same wine. Interesting coincidence, but at least we seemed to have hit their taste.


Saturday, 7 February 2004 Perth Images for 7 February 2004
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For a change, didn't do much today. Spent a leisurely morning at the Tunbridges, then down to Fremantle for a beer at a local microbrewery and fish and chips round the corner. Back to the Tunbridges and did a lot of talking and not much else.


Sunday, 8 February 2004 Perth -> Kalgoorlie, 602 km Images for 8 February 2004
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Spent a leisurely morning today, then into town with the Tunbridges to one of their favourite Yum Cha places, affectionately called the “roach” after something the sanitation inspectors found in their kitchen. Good food.

After that, set off east for Kalgoorlie, in no way aided by the road signs and the ridiculously low speed limits. Got lost on the Midland bypass as a result and found ourselves heading west again. On the way back found the first sign at all that pointed beyond a Perth suburb, and it was half way to Northam, about 60 km, before a speed limit of more than 90 km was posted, though we had been on dual carriageways all the way. Finally breathed a sigh of relief when we had passed Northam and were on the open road again. Even there, they had managed to set up enough road works (on a Sunday!) to make a nuisance of themselves.

Got to Kalgoorlie, where the temperature was 41°, and it was like a ghost town: I was told that everybody had gone to Esperance for the weekend to cool down. Went to the York Hotel for a beer and to see the staircase:


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It's a lot more run down than you'd expect. Discovered that there was almost nowhere to get anything to eat, and everything was very expensive. Finally found a more or less acceptable Thai place. Even when we got back to the hotel, it was very hot: no cooldown after sunset here.


Monday, 9 February 2004 Kalgoorlie -> Ceduna, 1407 km (+2½ hours) Images for 9 February 2004
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Off at 6:30 this morning, though it was already stinking hot, and had breakfast at the Widgiemooltha roadhouse, which took fully 25 minutes to prepare. No wonder there were no truckies eating there.

On through Norseman and across the Nullarbor with very little effort; things just seemed to go on and on. Stopped at the Yalata roadhouse to refuel, and the owner recognized me and started talking about the difference between the city and where he was, 80 km from anything (and even that was just a roadhouse). He has a house in Adelaide, but last time he was there he found the place too cramped and noisy. He's thinking of selling the house and buying something in the Nullarbor.

Despite the 2½ hour time difference, by the time I started thinking about where to spend the night, we were coming up for Penong, and after some consideration I decided that it would be better to move on to Ceduna, so did that, arriving at 20:00. Found a good, cheap hotel on the waterfront and had a good meal to go with it. Despite the long drive, wasn't tired at all—a far cry from our journey from La-Barthe-de-Neste to Rosbach in June 1986.


Tuesday, 10 February 2004 Ceduna -> Wantadilla, 812 km Images for 10 February 2004
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The warm weather from Kalgoorlie caught up with us by morning; even at 4 am, it was very warm, and when we left Ceduna at 9 am the temperature must have been round 40°. The drive was also very windy, and we weren't able to go fast; even then, it was relatively tiring. Made it back to Adelaide by mid-afternoon after a total distance of 6948 km.

In the evening, Yana showed me the Adelaide University Students Association's 2004 orientation guide–complete with a four page introduction to the drugs available on the campus, and how to take them. It seems that some people are planning to introduce newcomers to drugs at the orientation camp. Called up the police and spoke to somebody called Ros, who said it had nothing to do with them. Asked for her superieor, a Sgt. Darren Mulders, who said the same thing and recommended that I speak to the “Drug Action Team”. I can appreciate that it's difficult to control drugs, but the apathy of these people defies description.


Wednesday, 11 February 2004 Echunga
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Called up the police again today and asked to be connected to the Drug Action Team. The anonymous person on the phone wanted to know what it was about, and when I told her, she told me that it wasn't a police matter. I insisted and was given another phone number to call (8463 7400, Adelaide police station). There spoke to a Constable Leigh, who also tried to talk me out of it. Insisted, and discovered that he didn't know how to contact them, though he did find out–only to discover that nobody was there. I had to insist to ask him to have me called back.

Shortly later got a call from somebody who refused to identify herself beyond the name “Ann” (or possibly “Anne”). It seems that the drug action team is really called the department for drugs and organised crime. I told her what people were planning for the orientation camp, and she couldn't have cared less. No wonder the guide can state “South Australia has a marijuana reputation that even Primus, Mike Patton and Magic Dirt [whoever they may be] have commented on during tours here.” I'm appalled. There are laws about supplying alcohol to minors, and the police enforce them. When it comes to drugs, they don't seem to care.

Apart from that, the usual activities after returning from a trip: catching up on my mail. It's interesting that I only had 8,500 messages after 10 days: I had expected more like 20,000. By the evening they were down to a little under 4,000.


Thursday, 12 February 2004 Echunga
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More mail reading today, and finally got through. Didn't do much else, though I did get the notification that AUUG is now a member of the IT Council for South Australia, with myself as the representative. That will be interesting: they're still very much oriented towards Microsoft, and I spent 20 minutes trying to use OpenOffice to convert it to PostScript.

Also a phone call from Thomas Hamann of Grumpys with the news that he had got some extra light malt extract. Over there with some wheat beers for tasting, and they graded them inversely to the grain content, thus strengthening my intention to brew more with extract. The beers no longer taste as typically weizenartig as when they were fresh. I shouldn't make so much in advance.


Friday, 13 February 2004 Echunga
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Another quiet day spent catching up on the events of the last couple of weeks. Orkut is the flavour of the month, though I still don't know what it's good for.


Saturday, 14 February 2004 Echunga
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Phone call from Yvonne this morning. She had gone to OliVaylle with Diane Saunders to pick up a horse, and the car had overheated somewhere near Coonalpyn. They struggled on to Callington, where I picked them up later. It was certainly very hot: I later discovered that today was the hottest day in Adelaide since Jamuary 1939 (presumably Friday, 13 January, when the last bushfires ran through this part of the Hills). Today's high was 44.3° (111.7° F).

More working on my mail queue. I don't seem to get much else done. I need to stop doing so many things.


Sunday, 15 February 2004 Echunga
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I've been back five days now, and I still haven't been able to get through all my mail. I'm doing so many things for other people that I can't get anything done for myself: FreeBSD core team, AUUG presidency, writing articles for magazines, answering technical questions. Enough is enough! Finished off the article for Daemon News, which was really due at the beginning of the month, but since they only just published the January edition, it wasn't a problem, and sent off a message to the FreeBSD developers announcing my resignation from the core team. AUUG will have to wait a little longer, but I don't intend to nominate myself for any board position next year. Hopefully that will give me more time to do interesting things.


Monday, 16 February 2004 Echunga
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Phil from the air conditioners came in today and finally fixed the problem that I reported on 15 December—just over two months. This isn't the first time I've had such extremely long response times, and not only from this company. In fact, I don't know who Phil works for; it seems that the air conditioning companies farm out their maintenance, and one of the things Phil asked me was who he was working for.

In the process, discovered more about how the controls work: inside the house there's a relatively small control panel on the wall and a much larger control unit up in the ceiling near the coil. The temperature sensor (a thermistor) connects to the larger control unit, which is why it's up in the return air duct; convenience, not practicality. All they need is a longer piece of wire to place the sensor somewhere more sensible. Phil left the old sensor behind, so I may do that some time.

Gradually people have noticed that I have left the FreeBSD core team, and I've had a surprising number of supportive mail messages. It's a little silly that I can only tell the internal lists, which leaves a lot of people out of the loop, and as one person pointed out, Slashdot will have a field day with the cryptic statement on the FreeBSD web site. To make it clear: I resigned because of overwork, not because “FreeBSD is dying”.

Things were little less hectic today, though; still needed to prepare for the AUUG board meeting on Thursday, and there's still a lot of mail to get through. Things are looking better, though.


Tuesday, 17 February 2004 Echunga
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Andrew Rutherford had some problems with a customer today. For reasons I don't understand, they installed FreeBSD 5.2.1-RC1 (only released on Saturday) on a production system, and were now experiencing problems. sigh. Spent some time looking at that, with the view to get a backtrace, with which we were successful. It came from nowhere where we thought: the symptoms that worried them were that natd stopped working, but the backtrace was from getdirtybuf() and was the result of some soft update problem. That looks like being a lot of work. In the evening, turned soft updates off on the most likely file system; hopefully that will give us time to breathe without killing their performance.

At any rate, that gave me the chance to do a bit of technical work, and found a few things that could do with improvement. Didn't get much else done, but somehow things are feeling a little less hectic.


Wednesday, 18 February 2004 Echunga –> Canberra
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A fairly leisurely start to the day, and managed to carry on with some work on software before heading to the airport relatively late. Off with little incident to Sydney and then on to Canberra, where I arrived late enough not to meet anybody else.


Thursday, 19 February 2004 Canberra
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Martin Schwenke in to pick me up at the hotel today and take me to IBM by what must have been the most adventurous way I've seen in a long time. He was trying to avoid queuing for a roundabout, but I'm not sure he saved any time.

Some AUUG board meetings are relatively peaceful and quiet. Not so today. Admittedly, we didn't throw anything at each other, but we're certainly feeling the winds of change. On the heels of my resignation from the FreeBSD core team, announced that I wouldn't be standing for the position of President this year—nor for any other position: I'll be immediate past president, which will give me a year to decide whether I want to continue on the board or not. David Purdue also doesn't seem to want to continue, let alone be president again, which makes me wonder who is going to do it this year. Much discussion about our direction, particularly by Andrew Cowie, who is certainly very engaged. As a result, continued our meeting to 7 pm, 3 hours later than normal. Some were prepared to continue another 3, but I made it clear that I wouldn't go along with that, and by 7 pm it was clear to the others that further discussion probably wouldn't get us very far.

To the Lemon Grass Thai restaurant in the evening, then on to the Wig and Pen with David Purdue for a final drink. Somehow I'm not enlarging the subset of Canberra that I know.


Friday, 20 February 2004 Canberra
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Up earlier this morning for the Security Symposium. Though I wasn't “really” organizing it, I had promised Liz that I would help her, and so turned up by 8:30 am.

In the afternoon, Gordon gave me the satellite dish we had used at the AUUG 2003 Conference last September. The suppliers didn't want it back, so I thought I could use it. I was rather surprised, though, to discover it was a 90 cm dish and not the normal 60 cm. Contacted Qantas, who confirmed that the box was larger than allowed, but suggested I went along to the airport with it anyway, and maybe they could do something.

Had an interesting series of talks. This is the first security symposium I have been to, and I had always thought it was a bit off-topic for me, but it was well worth while. In general, people seemed happy with the result. In the evening out with Ben Elliston, who had arranged the seminar, and also Lawrie Brown and Luke Mewburn. Ben was happy enough with the results that he suggested he should do something else—unusual at this point. We're thinking of doing a developers workshop, maybe in Canberra again.


Saturday, 21 February 2004 Canberra –> Echunga Images for 21 February 2004
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Up in the middle of the night for an 8 am flight back home. My concerns that I would have difficulty checking in the 90 cm satellite dish proved unfounded: it was checked in with no problem (and the checkin agent was impressed by my hi-tech piece of tin).

Back home slowly (via Melbourne) but with no further issues, and spent the afternoon catching up with refreshingly little mail and bottling beer.


Sunday, 22 February 2004 Echunga
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More work on spam blocking today. I've been seeing a surprising amount of spam sent to rog@lemis.com, obviously a typo on the part of a spammer. Set up a rule to reject anything sent to that address, which made me realize that I've found a partial solution to spam: advertise rog@lemis.com widely, get it onto spam lists, and the rejects will protect other users as well. Unfortunately, postfix doesn't quite provide the functionality I need: I can either reject the user, in which case mail to others goes through, or I can discard it, in which case no reject message appears to go back to the originator. I'm doing the latter at the moment, and am discarding about a message an hour:

Feb 23 01:37:19 wantadilla postfix/smtpd[73196]: 8BE565120F: discard: RCPT from adsl-64-167-111-222.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net[64.167.111.222]: <rog@lemis.com>: Recipient address See http://www.lemis.com/dontspam.html; from=<VelmaH@optonline.net> to=<rog@lemis.com> proto=SMTP helo=<adsl-64-167-111-222.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net>

As the spammers trawl these web pages, I hope that the number will increase. It might prove interesting to process the mail logs to reject mail from IPs which send this mail.

Didn't do much else today; time to take things easy.


Monday, 23 February 2004 Echunga
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Another quiet day spent tidying up things. It's surprising how on such days, though I do less work, I find myself much more tired. I suspect it's the lack of stress. Can't be a bad thing.


Tuesday, 24 February 2004 Echunga
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More catchup stuff. There are some interesting developments in the aisles, but I can't talk about them yet.

Teleconference for AUUG 2004 in the afternoon. I'm glad I don't have too much to do with the organization this year.


Wednesday, 25 February 2004 Echunga
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Last week I made a minor change to concontrol and received a message from Bruce Evans telling me of all the style errors I had made in the commit, a so-called brucifiction. He was right, of course, which made it all the more annoying. Today finally got round to looking at the (untested) changes he had suggested. Apart from the certain satisfaction in discovering that he had made both a mistake and a misassumption, spent hours trying to get things exactly right, and finally gave up. I wish I agreed more with the BSD kernel coding style.


Thursday, 26 February 2004 Echunga
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Into town today for the ADUUG lunch, and once again to the Lion Hotel in North Adelaide, where we had to wait so long for lunch a year ago. This time we were outside on the terrace, not quite a beer garden, and the food was a little faster, though 25 minutes for a hamburger is still pushing it.

After that off with Ross Williams and Peter Cassidy to discuss some new software, as yet secret. Looks like it could be very interesting, though.


Friday, 27 February 2004 Echunga
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At breakfast this morning discovered that Yvonne had changed visit plans: we had expected a visit from Daniel Demuth tomorrow, but Yvonne had changed it to today, throwing my plans into turmoil. Spent the morning hastily bottling a brew of Kölsch, and just about made it before Daniel and parents turned up. Daniel had taken the trouble to bring some newspaper cuttings written in Swiss dialect, which was particularly thoughtful of him.

Spent the afternoon looking at horses. Daniel didn't stay long: his plans had been thrown somewhat out of whack by a bout of gastric flu that he caught earlier in the week, and in view of the current sensitivities in South-East Asia and his planned return to Switzerland on Tuesday, he didn't want to risk anything. Quiet evening.


Saturday, 28 February 2004 Echunga
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Came in to the office this morning to find that echunga had suffered some hardware failure during the night, and we were off the net. It's not clear exactly what went wrong, except that it was with the disk subsystem. Pressing the reset button enabled it to reboot, but the kernel couldn't find the disks. Power cycling did help. Looks like the controller got itself into a condition from which the driver couldn't recover.

In the evening, my uncle Max, his wife Margaret and aunt Audrey Schaedel visited us. Max and Margaret haven't been here for some time. Pleasant evening.


Sunday, 29 February 2004 Echunga
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Spent some time finishing off my articles for this quarter's AUUGN, which is produced with OpenOffice. That always drives me crazy (see the slides why I hate OpenOffice. There's also a paper), but today I just couldn't be bothered replacing the "..." sequences with “...” one by one with multiple mouse clicks. Instead unpacked the archive and used Emacs to change the sequences. In the process, discovered yet another annoying habit of GUI software: without telling me, at least some of the time it added markup which, though visible, was not intelligible on the screen. Specifically, they looked too small:

Before fixing with Emacs

That's what I got when I simply followed the instructions and pushed the mouse to Insert Special Character. I unpacked the archive and looked at the content.xml file (two lines) with Emacs:

$ mkdir open-office-abortion
$ cd open-office-abortion
$ unzip ../q1-2004.sxw
$ emacs content.html &

Emacs showed the following sequence, all on a single line:

reasons, AUUG is called AUUG, which does not stand for &lt;text:span text:style-name="T4"&gt;&lt;/text:span&gt;Australian UNIX Users Group&lt;text:span text:style-name="T4"&gt;&lt;/text:span&gt;.  &lt;text:s/&gt;Well, not officially, anyway: call it what you will.

Clearly the sequences \362\200\234 and \362\200\235 are the “ and ” characters. It seems that \362 is the leadin character, and the next two bytes (shown here in C octal notation as \xxx) are the Unicode character. But what's that <text:span text:style-name="T4"> doing there? Making the quotes too small, it seems. It appears to define the style of the enclosed text. I'm not sure how it got there; I certainly didn't ask for it. Probably it relates to some global default set at the time of insertion, rather than the style of the surrounding text, which is what is used if you simply press a key. The real problem, though, was knowing what was wrong: the WYSIWYG paradigm doesn't tell you things like that. With Emacs, I removed them, leaving the following text:

reasons, AUUG is called AUUG, which does not stand for \362\200\234Australian UNIX Users
Group\362\200\235.  <text:s/>Well, not officially, anyway: call it what you will.
Then repacked the archive:
 $ zip ../q1-2004.sxw *
After that, things looked better:

After fixing with Emacs

It's a real pain dealing with single line documents! In fact, you don't need to. It seems that OpenOffice has no problem with the wrapped format, though of course it removes the line breaks next time it saves. But what a mess! The whole idea of programs like OpenOffice is that they should be easy to use, and this is worse than pulling teeth. It's not the way it's intended to be used, of course, but I find that even this is easier than using OpenOffice the way it was intended.


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