Greg
animals brewing
food and drink gardening
general health
history language
music multimedia
opinion photography
politics Stones Road house
technology
Greg's diary
recent entries
Translate this page
Select day in August 2017:
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Select month:
2016 Sep Oct Nov Dec
2017 Jan Feb Mar Apr
2017 May Jun Jul Aug
Today's diary entry
Diary index
About this diary
Greg's home page
Greg's photos
Network link stats
Greg's other links
Copyright information
    
Groogle

Thursday, 17 August 2017 Dereel Images for 17 August 2017
Top of page
next day
last day

Goodbye ache
Topic: general, technology Link here

The name ache goes back to the early days of the FreeBSD, decades ago: it was the user ID for Andrey Chernov, one of the first developers.

He died yesterday, a couple of weeks before his 51st birthday. Of what? We don't know, but it seems to be related to osteoporosis, not exactly a common complaint for a person in his position. In a recent mail message he wrote:

Sorry, I can't be constructive for some unknown time, because I broke my leg yet again, due to osteoporosis. This one is more serious than previous, so I need complex surgery, can't find skilled enough traumatologist in Moscow yet and don't have enough money for Israel clinic. All my time I try to resolve this issue now one way or another and it is difficult for me to think about something else???

So better medical care may well have saved him. That makes it all the more sad.


Trump: in hole, stop digging
Topic: politics, history, opinion Link here

I've given up expressing my opinions on Donald Trump: they're all so similar. He is probably the worst thing that has happened to his country in decades.

As I see it, the USA came to global prominence when it joined the Great War on 6 April 1917. Not quite 100 years later, on 20 January 2017, it began its decline.

Yes, many people in the USA are up in arms about it, but not to the same extent that they are in other countries, and I'm left with the impression that they don't recognize what is happening. But last weekend something happened to change that: the rally in Charlottesville, where a woman was killed by a car that drove into a crowd. A sad occurrence, but the fallout seems to have impacted the US American psyche far more than the events would suggest. The car attack is nothing new: it's been done in France, Germany and the UK already, and in this case only one person was killed. Today it happened again in Catalonia, killing at least 13 people.

The reaction of the US “President” was less than sympathetic—to the victims, at any rate. It's easy to read pro-extremist sentiment into them, and that's what most people have done. It seems to have crossed a line when the editorial board of the Washington Post printed a statement condemning his behaviour. Is this the turning point where even his fanatical supporters turn against him?


Postal services in the Internet Age
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

Three years ago I wrote an essay about The Internet in 2034, and I've been watching things develop since then. 17.5% of the time has already passed!

One of the things that I predicted, and which I'm still very sure will happen, is the transition from on-site to off-site purchases. That implies more emphasis on transporting these goods.

Somehow, though, that isn't going according to plan. Transporting goods is getting slower, not faster. A while back Australia Post raised prices and slowed down deliveries. Today was a case in point: last week, after 3 days of trying, I finally purchased a new battery for my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II. Australia Post's tracking system didn't like the tracking number I was given. Whose fault? Certainly the seller didn't crown itself in glory with their web site. I wasn't in a hurry, so I waited.

It arrived today, and suddenly the tracking number worked—after a week! Bad Auspost! And look at the times!

 
This should be Auspost.png.  Is it missing?
Image title: Auspost
Complete exposure details
Dimensions: 671 x 509, 42 kB
Dimensions of original: 671 x 509, 42 kB
Display this image:
thumbnail    hidden   alone on page
Display all images on this page as:
thumbnails    this size
Show for Thursday, 17 August 2017:
thumbnails    small images    diary entry

Despite what Digidirect said, it wasn't sent from Melbourne at all, but from Welshpool, a suburb of Perth. And that's 3,330 km away, further than from London to Istanbul.

But why such a long time? An obvious explanation would be that they were batching parcels until they had enough to make it worthwhile. But a week? Surely there are more parcels than that.

By contrast it's interesting to read what I wrote 52 years ago:

My bromide [photographic] paper arrived this morning, which is pretty good service, considering that I only sent off for it on Sunday evening.

That's not one postal item but two, in about 40 hours. Yes, the distance was shorter, about 260 km each way, but it was by train, and it involved work in the middle. I still don't understand why postage has become so slow. It's not just Australia Post (though they're a good example), so there must be a good reason. But what?


Another new GPS navigator
Topic: technology Link here

Di Saunders has bought a GPS navigator to help her find her way here. It didn't work: she couldn't work out how to program it. It's a NAVMAN MiVUEDRIVE FHD, as the web site claims, though I think that includes gratuitous shouting on the part of the WEBMASTER.

She paid $200 for it, far more than I have ever paid for a navigator. What does she get for it? A considerably smaller display (but bigger than the one on her iPhone; that's why she bought it). Free monthly map updates, 1080p video camera and a G-sensor to record the direction of impact during a collision.

The map updates don't seem to be any better than with the el-cheapo navigators: three years after our street number was assigned, it still doesn't know it. And it's strange to use; even after downloading the manual, I still couldn't understand how to navigate to a favourite place. There's no reason to assume that it's any worse than the ones I have, just different.

But the worst thing about it was that the battery doesn't hold a charge. After 3 hours on charge it died immediately when removed from the charger. That's an individual issue, presumably. But since I had an old navigator to give away, it should be enough reason for her to get a refund.


The eternal flash pain
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Di was doing some dog training this afternoon, so I got my camera and took some particularly forgettable photos:


This should be Diane-Rosie-Nikolai-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Diane Rosie Nikolai 2          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 4600 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 17 August 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 17 August 2017, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 17 August 2017 Complete exposure details

 

Why is that so unevenly exposed? The simple answer is: I used on-camera flash. It looks as if the flash can't cover the entire field of view. This is at 30 mm equivalent, and the flash is supposed to go to 28 mm, so I can't see why. But it confirms my experience: never a good photo with on-camera flash.


More Hibiscus progress comparisons
Topic: gardening Link here

Yesterday's plant comparisons weren't the only ones. A little over a month ago I pruned my Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and had a number of stems left over. For the fun of it, I planted them outside. They're doing about as could be expected:


This should be Hibiscus-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 2          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 6083 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 July 2017 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hibiscus-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 5          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 5607 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 17 August 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 17 August 2017, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 17 August 2017 Complete exposure details

 


This should be Hibiscus-5.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 5          Dimensions:          3888 x 5184, 4168 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 July 2017 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Hibiscus-7.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 7          Dimensions:          3888 x 5185, 3967 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Thursday, 17 August 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Thursday, 17 August 2017, small
Diary entry for Thursday, 17 August 2017 Complete exposure details

 

There's also the stick that I put in a pot:


This should be Hibiscus-4.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Hibiscus 4          Dimensions:          3888 x 5185, 6526 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Wednesday, 12 July 2017, small
Diary entry for Wednesday, 12 July 2017 Complete exposure details

 

That one hasn't changed. I see little hope for any of them, but I'll give them a little longer.


Friday, 18 August 2017 Dereel Images for 18 August 2017
Top of page
previous day

Goodbye, Di
Topic: general Link here

Di Saunders left today in some of the worst weather we have seen for some time. When I got up, the whole front of the house was overflowing:


This should be Flooding-1.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Flooding 1          Dimensions:          5229 x 3888, 6974 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 18 August 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 18 August 2017, small
Diary entry for Friday, 18 August 2017 Complete exposure details

 
This should be Flooding-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
Image title: Flooding 2          Dimensions:          5229 x 3888, 5672 kB
Make a single page with this image Hide this image
Make this image a thumbnail Make thumbnails of all images on this page
Make this image small again Display small version of all images on this page
All images taken on Friday, 18 August 2017, thumbnails          All images taken on Friday, 18 August 2017, small
Diary entry for Friday, 18 August 2017 Complete exposure details

 

We had a total of 18.8 mm of rain, and in the course of the morning I had to pump out the sump about 15 times. High time to get the automatic switch to work reliably.

The GPS navigator had actually managed to fully charge, and was well prepared to take her home via (coincidentally?) the optimum route. She called back at 18:36 to confirm that she had made it home.


Goodbye, Sasha
Topic: animals Link here

The two weeks trial period are nearly up, and Yvonne heard from Melanie Bahlo: yes, they're very happy with Sasha, and they'll keep him. We had expected as much, of course, but now it's final. We'll miss him.


Centrelink does it again... and again
Topic: general, opinion Link here

Last month we received a request (in duplicate, because there are two of us) from Centrelink, the obviously named government agency which pays our pensions: please provide information about your German pensions. OK, that's valid, but why couldn't they ask the Germans? We sent off the documents as requested, after finding a place to get photocopies done. Then last week we received another request, with a different title, which I misunderstood and sent to our superannuation people.

Now today we received no less than four letters telling us that our fortnightly pension had dropped by about $2.50, a fraction of the increase we got from the Germans last month. Why four? Two are normal, since they seem incapable of combining mail to Yvonne and me. But the other two were interesting: they stated that they had received information from the Germans on the current value of our pension.

What's wrong with this? What they should have done:

What they did:


Building NetBSD, continued
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I've received mail from coypu, an email ID without a matching real name (domain removed to avoid spam) about my trouble building NetBSD. He made some suggestions, reminding me that NetBSD has also abandoned the simple build mechanism of the last millennium, and now uses a script called build.sh. One of his build suggestions:

./build.sh -U -u -j 4 -m amd64 -O ~/myobjdir tools
./build.sh -U -u -j 4 -m amd64 -O ~/myobjdir kernel=GENERIC

Problem: it doesn't work for me. RTFM time, which shows that build.sh is required for crossbuilds, and the old make build is still supposed to work. But the documentation concentrates on build.sh, so in the end I used this invocation, based on something I read in the doucmentation:

=== root@kimchi (/dev/pts/1) /usr/src 11 -> ./build.sh -m amd64 build
...
Build started at:  Thu Aug 17 16:24:43 AEST 2017
Build finished at: Thu Aug 17 21:19:23 AEST 2017
===> Successful make build
===> build.sh ended:      Thu Aug 17 21:19:23 AEST 2017
===> Summary of results:
         build.sh command:    ./build.sh -m amd64 build
         build.sh started:    Thu Aug 17 16:24:36 AEST 2017
         NetBSD version:      7.1_STABLE
         MACHINE:             amd64
         MACHINE_ARCH:        x86_64
         Build platform:      NetBSD 7.1 amd64
         HOST_SH:             /bin/sh
         No $TOOLDIR/bin/nbmake, needs building.
         Bootstrapping nbmake
         MAKECONF file:       /etc/mk.conf (File not found)
         TOOLDIR path:        /eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/obj/tooldir.NetBSD-7.1-amd64
         DESTDIR path:        /eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/obj/destdir.amd64
         RELEASEDIR path:     /eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/obj/releasedir
         Created /eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/obj/tooldir.NetBSD-7.1-amd64/bin/nbmake
         Updated makewrapper: /eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/obj/tooldir.NetBSD-7.1-amd64/bin/nbmake-amd64
         Successful make build
         build.sh ended:      Thu Aug 17 21:19:23 AEST 2017

How do I build the kernel? Again, let me count the ways. Later.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


Greg's home page This month Greg's photos Greg's links

RSS 2.0 Valid XHTML 1.0!