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Thursday, 2 February 2023 Dereel Images for 2 February 2023
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No lawn mowing
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

Paul Donaghy along today to mow the lawn. He didn't.

Before starting the mower, he always looks underneath. What he saw surprised him. One of the pulleys guiding the drive belt had been displaced, and a tie bar for the front axle had been dislodged:


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How did that happen? Paul is fairly sure that he can get it repaired at the Men's shed on Saturday, but for today it was back to looking at the sprinkler system. He found a number of leaks, but not the connectors required to repair them. I'll have to go and buy some more. Dammit!


“Asian” food again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Various older dishes for dinner today: ikan goreng and spiced green beans. It's been a while since I cooked them, and I had minor tweaks to the beans. Also took a couple of photos.

And the taste? Fish was OK, but the (required) snake beans were too tough, maybe because they had been frozen for so long. But next time I'll take normal green beans.


Friday, 3 February 2023 Dereel Images for 3 February 2023
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hydra fail
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

Into the office this morning, and pressed on a keyboard to wake my sleeping Xs. hydra didn't respond. Yes, the system was still up, but the display wasn't. A quick check showed that X was no longer running. Did I accidentally close the window from which I started it? No, /var/log/Xorg.log showed:

[761020.873] (II) NVIDIA(0): ACPI: received event: !system=CAM subsystem=periph type=error
[761020.873] (II) NVIDIA(0):     device=cd0 serial="3C7126908574" cam_status="0x4cc"
[761020.873] (II) NVIDIA(0):     scsi_status=2 scsi_sense="70 02 3a 01" CDB="00 00 00 00 00
[761020.873] (II) NVIDIA(0):     00 "
[761023.396] (II) NVIDIA(0): The NVIDIA X driver has encountered an error; attempting to
[761023.396] (II) NVIDIA(0):     recover...
[761026.406] (EE) NVIDIA(GPU-0): Failed to initialize DMA.
[761026.406] (EE)  *** Aborting ***
[761026.406] (EE) NVIDIA(0): Error recovery failed.
[761026.406] (EE) NVIDIA(0):  *** Aborting ***
[761026.406] (EE)
Fatal server error:
[761026.406] (EE) Failed to recover from error!

And a restart didn't seem to help:

Fatal server error:
(EE) NVIDIA: A GPU exception occurred during X server initialization(EE)
(EE)
Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
         at http://wiki.x.org
 for help.
(EE)
(EE) Server terminated with error (1). Closing log file.

What's that? Looks like hardware. But a second start attempt worked, and it continued to stay up. But maybe another indication that this isn't the best hardware platform.

In passing, that ACPI message is unrelated, but it repeats every 3 seconds. Another thing that I would have to address if I were to keep this system.


Breakfast fail
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

More bibimbap for breakfast today, mainly to use up leftovers. One of them was rice. I keep the rice frozen in plastic containers, but this time I needed to add to it. Put in a bigger container?

 
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I suppose that makes sense, and it would have worked, except that there was too much rice, so there wasn't any need. All it meant was that I could no longer create a clean mound on the plate:

 
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While I was at it: I fry an egg to put on top of the rice, but the pan I normally use was dirty. OK, how about those silicone rings that we once tried? Can I get them to work better?

 
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No. The total result was less than attractive, though of course it tasted just the same:

 
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X fonts revisited
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I really need to do something about the X fonts on hydra. I seem to have Cyrillic fonts, but not east Asian ones. OK, what do we have in the Ports Collection? Lots of stuff, of course, x11-fonts/xorg-fonts seems to be the one I want:

This meta-package installs all X.Org fonts and related programs.

But it lies. The Makefile says:

RUN_DEPENDS=    xorg-fonts-100dpi>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-100dpi \
                xorg-fonts-75dpi>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-75dpi \
                xorg-fonts-cyrillic>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-cyrillic \
                xorg-fonts-miscbitmaps>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-miscbitmaps \
                xorg-fonts-truetype>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-truetype \
                xorg-fonts-type1>0:x11-fonts/xorg-fonts-type1 \
                font-alias>0:x11-fonts/font-alias

And they're already installed. But they don't include any Asian fonts except Arabic and Hebrew. In particular, from my point of view, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Devanagari are missing, and even fonts like Urdu have missing characters. Clearly the correct thing to do is to install all the fonts, and not just the ones that the port maintainer thought of.

But which? x11-fonts/intlfonts looks like a good choice. Amongst others, pkg-plist lists:

Asian -- Asian (non-CJK) fonts
Chinese  -- Chinese normal size fonts excluding what distributed with X
Japanese -- Japanese normal size fonts excluding what distributed with X
Ethiopic -- Ethiopic fonts

What does CJK mean? Chinese, Japanese, Korean? Let's try. Install, all of 9 MB. According to one page I saw, I don't need to restart X, just the browser.

Nothing. OK, what's the difference between the X configuration files on eureka (where it works) and hydra? 10 FontPath entries on eureka, none on hydra. That's a clear difference.

But does it make any difference? The FontPaths on eureka are all the standard ones. It's very possible that modern versions of X look there by default; otherwise hydra would have no fonts at all.

So: without shooting down my “desktop”, the second approach is to start a second X server on hydra and see if that picks up the new fonts.


Old Unix sources
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

In the Good Old Days (last millennium), access to Unix wasn't easy. My first installation of Interactive Unix System V/386 came on floppies and cost an arm and a leg. Various people spirited away copies of Unix sources, notably Sun, for their own personal use.

Times have changed. VETUSWARE claims to be “the biggest free abandonware downloads collection in the universe”. And certainly their Unix collection is impressive. It includes both Interactive Unix and SunOS, the latter in source. I wonder what the copyright status is, or if anybody still cares.


Google knows where you are!
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Found on a web page today:


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That's right! And it's the first time ever. I've had claims of being all over Australia, or in Europe or the USA. And the IP address hasn't changed. What has?


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. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. 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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