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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?


https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20230203/big/Rice-3.jpeg
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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?


Saturday, 4 February 2023 Dereel Images for 4 February 2023
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More Hugin strangenesses
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

Last week I had a strange problem with my house photos: the photo east of the house had strange artefacts. But I removed the image before I could save it, and I wasn't able to reproduce it.

Never mind, a week has gone by, and I've taken the next round of photos. And the same problem happened again! This time I kept the image:


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It's not quite the same: this time the artefacts are sharper. But they happen on the same image in the same place:

 
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The disturbance at bottom left is the panorama bracket, but that's in every image in all of the panoramas, so its presence here is part of the issue.

This has only happened since I started using a newer version of Hugin (on hydra, but that's unlikely to be the issue). I'll have to think through what causes it, this time without erasing the evidence.


Repairing the lawn mower
Topic: gardening, animals Link here

Lots of activity today: Jesse Walsh came along to complete the fence to the west of the arena shed:

 
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Samantha Gale came along with her Odin, her Frisian gelding, to try out a saddle, and Paul Donaghy came to pick up the lawn mower. Clearly something was very wrong with it, as the traces in the driveway show:

 
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This also gave me an opportunity to get photos from the other side of the mower, which show how the mounting bolts have been torn out of the bell housing:

 
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Chicken mince: ugh!
Topic: animals, food and drink, opinion Link here

During the night I had heard Piccola vomiting. She hasn't done that for a while, and it coincided with a new feed of the chicken mince that we gave her a few weeks ago. She hadn't liked it at the time, so we gave her beef instead. Clearly she's making her point known, vomiting all over the top and door of the outside freezer:

 
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Alibi environmental friendliness
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

How do I hate Woolworths? Let me count the ways.

No, don't bother, I've done so already at length. But another issue that continually annoys me is their packaging. This package of “sizzling steaks” contains a firm single-use plastic tray that doubles as a way to annoy consumers trying to access the contents:

 
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But today I discovered this at one corner:

 
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What chutzpah! Later I followed the suggestion, requiring me to invert the label:

 
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The QR code simply redirects to Woolworth's home page. The real instructions are:

 
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Rinse the foil and label and return to store? I should really do that. If enough people do, they might even do something sensible.


Der Landarzt!
Topic: multimedia, opinion Link here

When we lived in Germany, we watched a TV series called „Der Landarzt“. Yvonne in particular misses it, but so far all my searches have only come up with some surprisingly expensive DVDs.

But overnight all that has changed. ZDF has released round 90 episodes! Now I have a different problem: how do I download them? Yes, I can click on MediathekView until the cows come home. How about youtube-dl? Yes!

Oh. It scrapes the web page and finds 36 episodes. But there are something like 90. Where are the rest? The web page uses this stupid “slide left to see the rest” representation that brain-damaged web designers currently so love, and youtube-dl only finds the ones that are currently displayed. So there's a lot of work just finding the bloody things.


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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