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Friday, 17 November 2017 Dereel Images for 17 November 2017
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teevee: Finishing touches
Topic: multimedia, technology, general Link here

Yesterday's work on tiwi.lemis.com (the new teevee) was successful but not complete. I still needed to move disks around and put the new box in the TV cabinet.

teevee has had two disks for a remarkably short period of time. My last upgrade started on 1 June and took over 3 weeks to complete. By comparison, this time was a breeze.

Last time round I added a new boot disk to teevee, leaving the old one untouched. That proved to be useful today: I was able to copy the entire root file system to it, greatly simplifying the transition. In fact, about the biggest problem was physically moving the machine from its provisional position to inside the cabinet:


This should be TV-2.jpeg.  Is it missing?
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That also involved swapping names: the new machine became teevee, and the old one became tiwi. Of course, in the three months' life of the previous incarnation I accumulated something like 300 GB of content on the second disk, and I needed to move it to the system disk. That involved some finger trouble (note: don't NFS mount a file system on the same system). And then hours of moving files across the network. But it's working! For the first time in the over 13 years since I started using computers to drive TVs, I have a system that doesn't look (that) abnormal.


Boot problems?
Topic: technology Link here

Although I had no real problems setting up the new teevee, there was one strange issue. On boot I got an unexpected message:

gptboot: Invalid backup GPT header

That looks like some kind of data corruption on disk, and that's all that I found on the web. It's benign in the sense that it doesn't stop the machine from working, but it would be interesting to find out how to fix it.


More wildflowers
Topic: gardening Link here

I've identified nearly 30 individual Thelymitra pauciflora (“sun orchid”) plants growing in the 400 odd metres of nature strip on Stones Road north of here:


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They're amazingly difficult to recognize, and I keep walking past them. They flower only briefly, but I want to be there when they do. Here's a typical location:


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Yes, that looks like a Grevillea rosmarinifolia, not a Thelymitra pauciflora. And it is, easy to recognize. At front left, though, is a Thelymitra, and this photo is to help me locate it. The plant itself is here:

 
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Apart from that, I find I should be paying more attention to insignificant plants. Here's one I found just outside the driveway:


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Is it indigenous? Native? Exotic? I don't know, but I suppose I should find out.


Saturday, 18 November 2017 Dereel Images for 18 November 2017
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Garden update
Topic: gardening Link here

A couple of days ago I noted with pleasure the recovery of the tiny tree fern that we bought last year and which had suffered from the bore water spray:


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But today it doesn't look anything near as good:


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Where is it? You need to look much closer:


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Mick the gardener was here today, and he didn't see it while whipper-snipping. He did see a patch of weeds next to it (towards the bottom of the image), and carefully avoided them:


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He also planted the “Baby's tears” ground cover in front of the house, first tearing it into six pieces:


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Still, I suppose accidents will happen. I wonder if the tree fern will recover. Should I even try, or just buy a new one?


An end to “blogs”?
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

I've been keeping an online diary for over 17 years now, following on from a paper diary that I kept for nearly 8 years in the 1960s. In March 2009 I was informed that my “blog” had been added to the ACM Queue blog roll. Blog? I don't have no steenking blog. In fact, I created one to make my point.

Where does the word “blog” come from? “Weblog”, of course. Even the Oxford English Dictionary describes the term in detail, including this reference (under weblog):

1997 J. Barger Lively New Webpage in alt.culture.www (Usenet newsgroup) 23 Dec. I decided to start my own webpage logging the best stuff I find as I surf, on a daily basis:..www.mcs.net/~jorn/html/weblog.html.

Typically, that URL is now 404.

I chose to limit my diary for ACM: much of what I do is of no interest to their readers. And for quite some time I've been one of the most regular contributors. Looking back over the life of the blog roll (about 8½ years), I contributed 3,280 of the total 13,628 posts, about 24%. That's about 32 a month out of about 135 a month.

But times have changed. Today there were (so far this month) 35 posts, 28 by me. Last month (the last complete month) there were 47 posts, 36 by me. My average hasn't changed, but the overall average has dropped by round two thirds.

That's not just the last month or two. In June 2016 (the first month for which I can get statistics), there were 53 posts, 30 by me. In those 18 months the other contributions have dropped from 23 per month to 11 per month.

Where have all the bloggers gone? It seems that in this day of smart phones, typing has become “too difficult” (for once I'm in agreement), and people prefer more ephemeral means of communication. If Facebook isn't bad enough, consider Snapchat, a company with a philosophy that goes against all that I hold dear. Or, if you're a politician, there's always Twitter to limit your output to match your attention span.

I suppose blogs will go the way of USENET, with archived content and very little new content. I wonder how we'll communicate in 10 years' time.


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.


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