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Sunday, 5 July 2020 Dereel Images for 5 July 2020
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Het volk redeloos, Groggy radeloos
Topic: language, history, opinion Link here

I never learnt Dutch. I didn't really need to: it's somewhere between English and German, and there are few words that don't have an equivalent in one or both of those languages. The biggest issue is the pronunciation.

But then I read about the Rampjaar 1672. Yes, “jaar” is German „Jahr“ or English “year”. But Ramp? It seems to mean “disaster”, and Google also gives me the much more easily understood “onheil” and “ongeluk”.

But that's nothing compared to what seems to be a Dutch saying “Het volk redeloos, de regering radeloos en het land reddeloos”. Most of those words have German cognates, maybe „Das Volk redelos, die Regierung ratlos und das Land rettungslos“. But the r.*d.*loos words are just guesswork. Surely there must be a translation somewhere?

The three adjectives seem to relate to the German verbs „reden“ (to speak), „raten“ (to advise) and „retten“ (to save). Then I found this book summary, containing:

Het 'rampjaar' 1672 geldt nog altijd als een dieptepunt in de Nederlandse geschiedenis. De gebeurtenissen van dat jaar waren zo traumatisch dat ze werden samengevat in de woorden 'redeloos, radeloos, reddeloos', een uitdrukking die we nog steeds kennen. In 1672 was het volk redeloos, de regering radeloos en het land reddeloos. Maar wat was er nu precies aan de hand? De Republiek werd van alle kanten aangevallen, de Fransen bezetten de helft van het land, de gebroeders De Witt werden vermoord en Willem III werd tot stadhouder uitgeroepen. Dit boek gaat over de reeks van gebeurtenissen die 1672 tot het rampjaar van de Nederlandse geschiedenis maakten. Ook de internationale context van het conflict en de achtergronden van de machtsstrijd binnen de Republiek komen daarbij uitgebreid aan de orde.

I can really understand most of that, except for those three adjectives. What does Google Translate say? I tried in English, German, French and Spanish and got similar results, once I persuaded translate that its “detect language” was broken (it decided that it was German):

De gebeurtenissen van dat jaar waren zo traumatisch dat ze werden samengevat in de woorden 'redeloos, radeloos, reddeloos',

The events of that year were so traumatic that they were summarized in the words "senseless, distraught, lifeless,"

In 1672 was het volk redeloos, de regering radeloos en het land reddeloos.

In 1672, the people were unreasonable, the government desperate and the country rescued.

So: in the same passage, it translates “redeloos” as either “senseless” or “unreasonable”, “radeloos” as either “distraught” or “desperate”, and—most of all—“reddeloos” as “lifeless” or “rescued”! The breakage is pretty much the same in the other languages that I tried. Clearly a good advertisement for Google's syntax-independent translation algorithms.

And that's all. I still can't find a definitive explanation of what the three words mean. But in passing, it seems to have been a time that changed the course of European history, certainly when William of Orange took over the English Throne.


Spoon shelf life
Topic: food and drink, photography, general, opinion Link here

Since taking over running the dish washer, I've discovered that a number of spoons are difficult to keep clean. Why? The spoons we use for cooking are some of our oldest possessions. A number are the remains of the spoons from my mother sent that arrived in Germany on 15 December 1967, and there are also some of similar age that Yvonne brought with her when she moved in.

And these spoons seem to stay dirty more frequently than makes sense. Is it dirt? Time for some close-up photos:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200704/big/Corroded-spoon-1.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200704/big/Corroded-spoon-3.jpeg
Image title: Corroded spoon 3          Dimensions:          5185 x 3888, 2673 kB
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200704/big/Corroded-spoon-3-detail.jpeg
Image title: Corroded spoon 3 detail          Dimensions:          1394 x 1102, 346 kB
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What is that stuff? Some kind of corrosion, clearly. The engraving on the back of the handle show that it's „Nirosta Edelstahl“, stainless steel. Could it be that dish washer detergents required a change in the composition of stainless steel?


“Windows” 10: the pain
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

It's becoming increasingly clear that I will have to upgrade at least one of my Microsoft boxes to “Windows” 10. For no particular reason, took the disk that I had received with the new ThinkCentre M93p last month and tried it in the old ThinkCentre M58p that used to be teevee. The experience was interesting.

First, try to guess what this silly new GUI is hiding, with some success. Managed to configure the system as disgust.lemis.com (192.109.197.173), though the “troubleshooter” caused trouble: it claimed that couldn't fix the problem. What problem? It was too polite to say. I decided that the “troubleshooter” was the problem.

Apart from that, it was glacially slow, and the disk LED showed that it was continually accessing disk. Not enough RAM (only 4 GB)? The Task Manager showed that there were 1.7 GB free. Still, this was just for playing around with.

Next, set up remote desktop. Does this version of “Windows” support it? Finding that detail proved to be surprisingly difficult. Finally found How to use Remote Desktop from Microsoft support, where they write:

Make sure you have Windows 10 Pro. To check, go to Start > Settings > System > About and look for Edition. For info on how to get it, go to Upgrade Windows 10 Home to Windows 10 Pro.

OK, I have “Windows” 10 Pro. But now I need a user to authenticate. Ah, can't do that without “activating”. And we can't activate Windows on this device:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200705/big/Microsoft-setup-2.jpeg
Image title: Microsoft setup 2          Dimensions:          2244 x 527, 655 kB
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I suppose that might even be correct. Yes, every one of the 5 ThinkCentres that I have bought came with what I believe is a valid Microsoft system on disk. But I've only ever used one of them, and this one came from a different machine. Followed some links and ended up at this page, which at least has the interesting implication that if I have a “Microsoft Account” I can transfer licenses from one system to another.

OK, it offers to send the page as mail. I may not be activated, but I am on the net, so why not? And how about that, it's even prepared to log me in to Gmail, though Gmail is clearly not amused:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200705/big/Trust-windows.jpeg
Image title: Trust windows          Dimensions:          2379 x 3050, 3594 kB
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OK, log in, not helped by the fact that I forgot to write down the last password change, and send the message. Nothing arrived.

Further investigation showed that I had disabled my POP3 cron job on 13 February 2020 as a poorly thought-out part of the mail migration.

OK, that needs fixing, but there are more direct ways of doing things:

=== grog@eureka (/dev/pts/8) ~ 286 -> /usr/local/bin/fetchmail -a
fetchmail: Authorization failure on groggyhimself@gmail.com@pop.gmail.com
fetchmail: For help, see http://www.fetchmail.info/fetchmail-FAQ.html#R15
fetchmail: Query status=3 (AUTHFAIL)

Huh? I didn't change anything there. Try again with -v flag, which showed that the password was being rejected.

Bloody Gmail! Have they changed something without telling me? Spent quite a bit of time searching and discovered that yes, indeed, they had disabled the “allow less secure app” access. That wouldn't be so bad if it were easy to get secure access, but ultimately anything that goes over SMTP is insecure.

Enabled that, and watched the mail pour in, about 550 messages, all of which I had barely missed. 255 were from the Hugin list, which I had idly wondered about, also 136 from Academia, which has taken to spamming me via two different email addresses, and another 70 from eBay, which also normally communicates by other email addresses.

What didn't arrive? The messages that I had sent from disgust. They were filtered as spam; I'll look at why some other time.

And on reflection, I don't think that disgust is a very good name. distress should be better.


Lies, damn lies and LED light globes
Topic: general, opinion Link here

One of the light globes in the kitchen has been flickering for some time. But there are two in the same mount; which one is it? It was careful never to flicker while I was looking at it.

Finally got round to taking the lid off and taking a look. To my surprise, one was LED, the other fluorescent. OK, my bet on the LED. Took it out. 17 W, 1500 lumens. Do I have another? No, all I had were 11 W, choice of LED or fluoro. Put in a fluoro.

Problem solved? Well, clearly the new globe has a lower rating, 11 W/700 lumens (as opposed to others I had, 11 W/600 lumens). So clearly it should be dimmer. But no, after they had warmed up I found no difference.

I've seen discrepancies between LED and fluoro before, but in that case it was the other way round. For the time being I'll take the values as guesswork. What's less guesswork is that the LED globes don't manage anywhere near the life that they claim; arguably they're less reliable than incandescent globes.


Piccola hair loss again
Topic: animals Link here

Piccola seems to be tearing out her hair again:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200705/big/Piccolas-fur.jpeg
Image title: Piccolas fur          Dimensions:          3321 x 3072, 2923 kB
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It's not the first time, but why? One clue might be the time of year: she had exactly the same problem exactly 5 years ago.


The limits of frozen meat
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Yvonne had bought some asparagus on Wednesday, throwing our menu into turmoil. OK, forget the enchiladas I had planned, and have some grilled lamb loin. Only 3½ years old, and apart from some “burning” on the outside it looked quite good after thawing out.

But it was tough as old boots! It'll end up in thin slices in some stir fry. We really should keep an eye on the age of stuff in the deep freeze.


Monday, 6 July 2020 Dereel Images for 6 July 2020
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Shotgun attack
Topic: technology, opinion Link here

I send myself emails from the web server when a local link is broken. I determine a local link from the HTTP_REFERER field in the request, and that can, of course, be wrong.

So it was today:

Date: Sun, 5 Jul 2020 16:23:56 GMT
From: World Wide Web Owner <www@lax.lemis.com>
To: groggyhimself@lemis.com
Subject: FAILURE: /faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids%5B99%5D='&gids%5B100%5D%5B0%5D=)%20and%20(select%201%20from%20(select%20count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x%20from%20information_schema.tables%20group%20by%20x)a)%23
        <- http://www.lemis.com/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids[99]='&gids[100][0]=) and (select 1 from (select count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x from information_schema.tables group by x)a)%23
Message-Id: <202007051623.065GNuh9049588@lax.lemis.com>

Referrer:       http://www.lemis.com/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids[99]='&gids[100][0]=) and (select 1 from (select count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x frominformation_schema.tables group by x)a)%23
Referenced URL:http://www.lemis.com/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids%5B99%5D='&gids%5B100%5D%5B0%5D=)%20and%20(select%201%20from%20(select%20count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x%20from%20information_schema.tables%20group%20by%20x)a)%23
Request URI:/faq.php?action=grouppermission&gids%5B99%5D='&gids%5B100%5D%5B0%5D=)%20and%20(select%201%20from%20(select%20count(*),concat(version(),floor(rand(0)*2))x%20from%20information_schema.tables%20group%20by%20x)a)%23
Remote host:
Remote IP:      45.121.104.220
Client:         Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 10.0; Windows NT 6.2)

What's that stuff? Clearly it's some kind of SQL statement, presumably designed to get information about the installation. How many security breaches are needed for it to work?


Sharing files in the age of Dropbox
Topic: technology, photography, multimedia, opinion Link here

Yvonne shares a number of videos with Julie Lannen. Julie does a lot of video production herself, and it's not surprising that she's not satisfied with the quality that YouTube offers.

Her solution: Dropbox. But today Yvonne told me that she had had difficulty uploading a video to Dropbox. Too big, 3.7 GB instead of a maximum of 2 GB. It seems that the new limit is relatively recent.

Julie had a solution: a compressor called HandBrake. Huh? You can't compress videos worth a damn. For the fun of it, tried it with bzip2 -9:

-rw-rw-r--  2 yvonne  home  3,720,123,421  5 Jul 23:24 67050112.MOV
-rw-r--r--  1 root    home  3,719,542,477  5 Jul 16:35 foo.bz2

That's really not worth the trouble. Took a look at HandBrake, and of course it does lossy compression. How lossy? How do I know? Let Julie work it out.

So that means finding somewhere else to put it. That's straightforward enough: DigitalOcean, where I already have 600 odd GB of data. Does that suit Julie? No reply.

In the meantime, though: does DropBox really restrict me to 2 GB per file? Tried loading, which went smoothly until the end. Well, almost the end:

 
https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200706/big/droppedbox.png
Image title: droppedbox
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Sigh Sometimes I wonder if these convenience sites are worth it.


Ragù bolognese again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

We had planned to cook spaghetti bolognese over the weekend, but other issues overtook us. But we had the ingredients, and they needed cooking.

It's a lot of work, and this time we chose twice the quantities that we had had before: a total of 1 kg of meat, probably enough for 15 portions or so.

It's been about 13 years since I wrote the page, and in that time things have changed. In particular, I didn't mention salt! This time I used 30 g, based on my rule of thumb “2% of the total weight”; potentially that's a little on the high side, possibly because of salt in the ham.

I was surprised how much battuto I had compared to the meat:


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200706/big/Ragu-bolognese-1.jpeg
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https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20200706/big/Ragu-bolognese-4.jpeg
Image title: Ragu bolognese 4          Dimensions:          5224 x 3888, 6569 kB
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I had started quite late, and by the time the meat was fried, it was time for dinner. OK, the next step was putting in red wine and reducing it. Why not marinate it first? Put in the wine tonight, cook tomorrow morning.


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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