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Analyzed 5 days ago. based on code collected about 1 month ago.
Posted 1 day ago
I stumbled across this rather nicely-formatted blog by Alex Beal and thought I'd share it. It's a particular kind of minimalist style that I like, because it puts the content first. It reminds me of Mark Pilgrim's old blog. I can't remember ... [More] which post in particular I came across first, but the one that I thought I would share was this remarkably detailed personal research project on tracking mood. That would have been the end of it, but I then stumbled across this great review of "Type Driven Development with Idris", a book by Edwin Brady. I bought this book during the Christmas break but I haven't had much of a chance to deep dive into it yet. Coincidentally I am hoping to invite Dr. Brady to present a Colloquium at my School. This all reminds me that I've written nothing about my PhD on this blog yet. I will hopefully address that very soon! [Less]
Posted 1 day ago
I just did a Debian install on a Dell PowerEdge T30 for a client. The Dell web site is a bit broken at the moment, it didn’t list the price of that server or give useful specs when I was ordering it. I was under the impression that the server was ... [More] limited to 8G of RAM, that’s unusually small but it wouldn’t be the first time a vendor crippled a low end model to drive sales of more expensive systems. It turned out that the T30 model I got has 4*DDR4 sockets with only one used for an 8G DIMM. It apparently can handle up to 64G of RAM. It has space for 4*3.5″ SATA disks but only has 4*SATA connectors on the motherboard. As I never use the DVD in a server this isn’t a problem for me, but if you want 4 disks and a DVD then you need to buy a PCI or PCIe SATA card. Compared to the PowerEdge T130 I’m using at home the new T30 is slightly shorter and thinner while seeming to have more space inside. This is partly due to better design and partly due to having 2 hard drives in the top near the DVD drive which are a little inconvenient to get to. The T130 I have (which isn’t the latest model) has 4*3.5″ SATA drive bays at the bottom which are very convenient for swapping disks. It has two PCIe*16 slots (one of which is apparently quad speed), one shorter PCIe slot, and a PCI slot. For a cheap server a PCI slot is a nice feature, it means I can use an old PCI Ethernet card instead of buying a PCIe Ethernet card. The T30 cost $1002 so using an old Ethernet card saved 1% of the overall cost. The T30 seems designed to be more of a workstation or personal server than a straight server. The previous iterations of the low end tower servers from Dell didn’t have built in sound and had PCIe slots that were adequate for a RAID controller but vastly inadequate for video. This one has built in line in and out for audio and has two DisplayPort connectors on the motherboard (presumably for dual-head support). Apart from the CPU (an E3-1225 which is slower than some systems people are throwing out nowadays) the system would be a decent gaming system. It has lots of USB ports which is handy for a file server, I can attach lots of backup devices. Also most of the ports support “super speed”, I haven’t yet tested out USB devices that support such speeds but I’m looking forward to it. It’s a pity that there are no USB-C ports. One deficiency of the T30 is the lack of a VGA port. It has one HDMI and two DisplayPort sockets on the motherboard, this is really great for a system on or under your desk, any monitor you would want on your desk will support at least one of those interfaces. But in a server room you tend to have an old VGA monitor that’s there because no-one wants it on their desk. Not supporting VGA may force people to buy a $200 monitor for their server room. That increases the effective cost of the system by 20%. It has a PC serial port on the motherboard which is a nice server feature, but that doesn’t make up for the lack of VGA. The BIOS configuration has an option displayed for enabling charging devices from USB sockets when a laptop is in sleep mode. It’s disappointing that they didn’t either make a BIOS build for a non-laptop or have the BIOS detect at run-time that it’s not on laptop hardware and hide that. Conclusion The PowerEdge T30 is a nice low-end workstation. If you want a system with ECC RAM because you need it to be reliable and you don’t need the greatest performance then it will do very well. It has Intel video on the motherboard with HDMI and DisplayPort connectors, this won’t be the fastest video but should do for most workstation tasks. It has a PCIe*16 quad speed slot in case you want to install a really fast video card. The CPU is slow by today’s standards, but Dell sells plenty of tower systems that support faster CPUs. It’s nice that it has a serial port on the motherboard. That could be used for a serial console or could be used to talk to a UPS or other server-room equipment. But that doesn’t make up for the lack of VGA support IMHO. One could say that a tower system is designed to be a desktop or desk-side system not run in any sort of server room. However it is cheaper than any rack mounted systems from Dell so it will be deployed in lots of small businesses that have one server for everything – I will probably install them in several other small businesses this year. Also tower servers do end up being deployed in server rooms, all it takes is a small business moving to a serviced office that has a proper server room and the old tower servers end up in a rack. Rack vs Tower One reason for small businesses to use tower servers when rack servers are more appropriate is the issue of noise. If your “server room” is the room that has your printer and fax then it typically won’t have a door and you just can’t have the noise of a rack mounted server in there. 1RU systems are inherently noisy because the small diameter of the fans means that they have to spin fast. 2RU systems can be made relatively quiet if you don’t have high-end CPUs but no-one seems to be trying to do that. I think it would be nice if a company like Dell sold low-end servers in a rack mount form-factor (19 inches wide and 2RU high) that were designed to be relatively quiet. Then instead of starting with a tower server and ending up with tower systems in racks a small business could start with a 19 inch wide system on a shelf that gets bolted into a rack if they move into a better office. Any laptop CPU from the last 10 years is capable of running a file server with 8 disks in a ZFS array. Any modern laptop CPU is capable of running a file server with 8 SSDs in a ZFS array. This wouldn’t be difficult to design. Related posts: CPL I’ve just bught an NVidia video card from Computers and... Flash Storage and Servers In the comments on my post about the Dell PowerEdge... Dell PowerEdge T105 Today I received a Dell PowerEDGE T105 for use by... [Less]
Posted 2 days ago
Hello! If you follow this blog, you should probably know by now that I have been working with my mentors to contribute to MoinMoin EventCalendar macro, adding the possility to export the events' data to an icalendar file. The code (which can be ... [More] found on this Github repository) isn't quite ready yet, because I'm still working to convert the recurrence rule to the icalendar format, but other than that, it should be working. Hopefully. The icalendar file is now generated as an attachment the moment the macro is loaded. I created an "ical" link at the bottom of the calendar. When activated, this link prompts the download of the ical attachment of the page. Being an attachment, there is still the possibility to just view ical the file using the "attachment" menu if the user wishes to do so. There are two ways of importing this calendar on Thunderbird. The first one is to download the file by clicking on the link and then proceeding to import it manually to Thunderbird. The second option is to "Create a new calendar / On the network" and to use the URL address from the ical link as the "location", as it is shown below: As usual, it's possible to customize the name for the calendar, the color for the events and such... I noticed a few Wikis that use the EventCalendar, such as Debian wiki itself and the FSFE wiki. Python wiki also seems to be using MoinMoin and EventCalendar, but it seems that they use a Google service to export the event data do iCal. If you read this and are willing to try the code in your wiki and give me feedback, I would really appreciate. You can find the ways to contact me in my Debian Wiki profile. [Less]
Posted 2 days ago
I recently got a new work laptop, a 13” Yoga 720. It proved difficult to install Debian on; pressing F12 would get a boot menu allowing me to select a USB stick I have EFI GRUB on, but after GRUB loaded the kernel and the initrd it would just sit ... [More] there never outputting anything else that indicated the kernel was even starting. I found instructions about Ubuntu 17.10 which helped but weren’t the complete picture. What seems to be the situation is that the kernel won’t happily boot if “Legacy Support” is not enabled - enabling this (and still booting as EFI) results in a happier experience. However in order to be able to enable legacy boot you have to switch the SATA controller from RAID to AHCI, which can cause Windows to get unhappy about its boot device going away unless you warn it first. Fire up an admin shell in Windows (right click on the start menu) bcdedit /set safeboot minimal Reboot into the BIOS Change the SATA Controller mode from RAID to AHCI (dire warnings about “All data will be erased”. It’s not true, but you’ve back up first, right?) Set “Boot Mode” to “Legacy Support”. Save changes and let Windows boot to Safe Mode Fire up an admin shell in Windows (right click on the start menu again) bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot Reboot again and Windows will load in normal mode with the AHCI drivers Additionally I had problems getting the GRUB entry added to the BIOS; efibootmgr shows it fine but it never appears in the BIOS boot list. I ended up using Windows to add it as the primary boot option using the following ( gets replaced with whatever the new “Debian” section guid is): bcdedit /enum firmware bcdedit /copy "{bootmgr}" /d "Debian" bcdedit /set "{}" path \EFI\Debian\grubx64.efi bcdedit /set "{fwbootmgr}" displayorder "{}" /addfirst Even with that at one point the BIOS managed to “forget” about the GRUB entry and require me to re-do the final “displayorder” command. Once you actually have the thing installed and booting it seems fine - I’m running Buster due to the fact it’s a Skylake machine with lots of bits that seem to want a newer kernel, but claimed battery life is impressive, the screen is very shiny (though sometimes a little too shiny and reflective) and the NVMe SSD seems pretty nippy as you’d expect. [Less]
Posted 3 days ago
Petter Reinholdtsen: How hard can æ, ø and å be? comments on the rubbish state of till printers and their mishandling of foreign characters. Last week, I was trying to type an email, on a tablet, in Dutch. The tablet was running something close ... [More] to Android and I was using a Bluetooth keyboard, which seemed to be configured correctly for my location in England. Dutch doesn’t even have many accents. I wanted an e acute (é). If you use the on screen keyboard, this is actually pretty easy, just press and hold e and slide to choose the accented one… but holding e on a Bluetooth keyboard? eeeeeeeeeee! Some guides suggest Alt and e, then e. Apparently that works, but not on keyboards set to Great British… because, I guess, we don’t want any of that foreign muck since the Brexit vote, or something(!) Even once you figure out that madness and switch the keyboard back to international, which also enables alt i, u, n and so on to do other accents, I can’t find grave, check, breve or several other accents. I managed to send the emails in Dutch but I’d struggle with various other languages. Have I missed a trick or what are the Android developers thinking? Why isn’t there a Compose key by default? Is there any way to get one? [Less]
Posted 3 days ago
From my spiritual blog I have been quiet lately. My life has been filled with gentle happiness, work, and less gentle wedding planning. How do you write about quiet happiness without sounding like the least contemplative aspects of Facebook? ... [More] How do I share this part of the journey in a way that others can learn from? I was offering thanks the other day and was reminded of one of my early experiences at Fires of Venus. Someone was talking about how they were there working to do the spiritual work they needed in order to achieve their dream of opening a restaurant. I'll admit that when I thought of going to a multi-day retreat focused on spiritual connection to love, opening a restaurant had not been at the forefront of my mind. And yet, this was their dream, and surely dreams are the stuff of love. As they continued, they talked about finding self love deep enough to have the confidence to believe in dreams.As I recalled this experience, I offered thanks for all the tools I've found to use as a lover. Every time I approach something with joy and awe, I gain new insight into the beauty of the world around us. In my work within the IETF I saw the beauty of the digital world we're working to create. Standing on sacred land, I can find the joy and love of nature and the moment.I can share the joy I find and offer it to others. I've been mentoring someone at work. They're at a point where they're appreciating some of the great mysteries of computing like “Reflections on Trusting Trust” or two's compliment arithmetic. I’ve had the pleasure of watching their moments of discovery and also helping them understand the complex history in how we’ve built the digital world we have. Each moment of delight reinforces the idea that we live in a world where we expect to find this beauty and connect with it. Each experience reinforces the idea that we live in a world filled with things to love.And so, I’ve turned even my experiences as a programmer into tools for teaching love and joy. I’ve been learning another new tool lately. I’ve been putting together the dance mix for my wedding. Between that and a project last year, I’ve learned a lot about music. I will never be a professional DJ or song producer. However, I have always found joy in music and dance, and I absolutely can be good enough to share that with my friends. I can be good enough to let music and rhythm be tools I use to tell stories and share joy. In learning skills and improving my ability with music, I better appreciate the music I hear.The same is true with writing: both my work here and my fiction. I’m busy enough with other things that I am unlikely to even attempt writing as my livelihood. Even so, I have more tools for sharing the love I find and helping people find the love and joy in their world.These are all just tools. Words and song won’t suddenly bring us all together any more than physical affection and our bodies. However, words, song, and the joy we find in each other and in the world we build can help us find connection and empathy. We can learn to see the love that is there between us. All these tools can help us be vulnerable and open together. And that—the changes we work within ourselves using these tools—can bring us to a path of love. And so how do I write about happiness? I give thanks for the things it allows me to explore. I find value in growing and trying new things. In my best moments, each seems a lens through which I can grow as a lover as I walk Venus’s path. [Less]
Posted 3 days ago
Here's what happened in the Reproducible Builds effort between Sunday February 11 and Saturday February 17 2018: Media coverage ActiveState are running a "Golang Roundtable" on February 22nd to discuss reproducible builds, environment ... [More] configuration & dependency management (via Pete Garcin). Holger Levsen announced there will be a MiniDebConf in Hamburg, Germany from May 16th to 20th where many reproducible builds folks will be in attendance. Whilst this is foremost a "Debian" event, we do hope that people working on Reproducible Builds in other projects will attend as well - please register! Reproducible work in other projects The Symfony PHP framework announced that their latest release is reproducible. Maria Camenzuli wrote about Reproducible Builds in Java. Helmut Grohne used reproducible builds practices to remove unnecessary build-dependencies in the kalzium package. Packages reviewed and fixed, and bugs filed Adrian Bunk: #890122 filed against kcompletion. #890431 filed against grub2. Chris Lamb: #890104 filed against octave-geometry. #890193 filed against sleekxmpp. #890280 filed against ufo2ft. (upstream) #890311 filed against dashel. #890312 filed against desmume. #890313 filed against awl. #890314 filed against cpl-plugin-visir. #890486 filed against keepassxc. #890487 filed against wreport. #890551 filed against mblaze. #890577 filed against tkgate. #890616 filed against dialign-t. #890618 filed against scowl. #890620 filed against ply. #890651 filed against xastir. RediSearch (upstream) Promise.js (upstream) Various previous patches were merged upstream: libical (Chris Lamb) librsvg (Chris Lamb) Reviews of unreproducible packages 38 package reviews have been added, 27 have been updated and 13 have been removed in this week, adding to our knowledge about identified issues. 4 issue types have been added: python-ply_lextokens build_dir_in_tags_generated_by_doxygen randomness_in_berkeley_db_files timestamp_in_fonts_generated_by_ufo2ft One issue type has been updated: Add upstream URI for timestamps_in_pdf_generated_by_rsvg_convert Weekly QA work During our reproducibility testing, FTBFS bugs have been detected and reported by: Adrian Bunk (24) Boyuan Yang (1) Cédric Boutillier (1) Jeremy Bicha (1) Matthias Klose (1) diffoscope development Chris Lamb: Add support for comparing Berkeley DB files (#890528). This is currently incomplete because the Berkeley DB libraries do not return the same uid/hash reliably (it returns "random" memory contents) so we must strip those from the human-readable output. Website development Holger Levsen: Add reference to Symfony.com; thanks to Javier Eguiluz for the patch. Misc. This week's edition was written by Chris Lamb and Holger Levsen & reviewed by a bunch of Reproducible Builds folks on IRC & the mailing lists. [Less]
Posted 3 days ago
Did I forget a period of my life when I grew a horseshoe mustache and dreadlocks, walked around topless, and illustrated this 2009 article in the Economist on the economic boon that hippy festivals represent to rural American communities? Previous lookalikes are here.
Posted 3 days ago
Debian 7 Wheezy LTS period ends on May 31st and some companies asked Freexian if they could get security support past this date. Since about half of the current team of paid LTS contributors is willing to continue to provide security updates for ... [More] Wheezy, I have started to work on making this possible. I just initiated a discussion on debian-devel with multiple Debian teams to see whether it is possible to continue to use debian.org infrastructure to host the wheezy security updates that would be prepared in this extended LTS period. From the sponsor side, this extended LTS will not work like the regular LTS. It is unrealistic to continue to support all packages and all architectures so only the packages/architectures requested by sponsors will be supported. The amount invoiced to each sponsor will be directly related to the package list that they ask us to support. We made an estimation (based on history) of how much it costs to support each package and we split that cost between all the sponsors that are requesting support for this package. That cost is re-evaluated quarterly and will likely increase over time as sponsors are stopping their support (when they finished to migrate all their machines for example). This extended LTS will also have some restrictions in terms of packages that we can support. For instance, we will no longer support the linux kernel from wheezy, you will have to switch to the kernel used in jessie (or maybe we will maintain a backport ourselves in wheezy). It is also not yet clear whether we can support OpenJDK since upstream support of version 7 stops at the end of June. And switching to OpenJDK 8 is likely non-trivial. There are likely other unsupportable packages too. Anyway, if your company needs wheezy security support past end of May, now is the time to worry about it. Please send us a mail with the list of source packages that you would like to see supported. The more companies get involved, the less it will cost to each of them. Our plans are to gather the required data from interested companies in the next few weeks and make a first estimation of the price they will have to pay for the first quarter by mid-march. Then they confirm that they are OK with the offer and we will emit invoices in April so that they can be paid before end of May. Note however that we decided that it would not be possible to get extended wheezy support if you are not among the regular LTS sponsors (at bronze level at least). Extended LTS would not be possible without the regular LTS so if you need the former, you have to support the latter too. No comment | Liked this article? Click here. | My blog is Flattr-enabled. [Less]
Posted 3 days ago
Debian 7 Wheezy LTS period ends on May 31st and some companies asked Freexian if they could get security support past this date. Since about half of the current team of paid LTS contributors is willing to continue to provide security updates for ... [More] Wheezy, I have started to work on making this possible. I just initiated a discussion on debian-devel with multiple Debian teams to see whether it is possible to continue to use debian.org infrastructure to host the wheezy security updates that would be prepared in this extended LTS period. From the sponsor side, this extended LTS will not work like the regular LTS. It is unrealistic to continue to support all packages and all architectures so only the packages/architectures requested by sponsors will be supported. The amount invoiced to each sponsor will be directly related to the package list that they ask us to support. We made an estimation (based on history) of how much it costs to support each package and we split that cost between all the sponsors that are requesting support for this package. That cost is re-evaluated quarterly and will likely increase over time as sponsors are stopping their support (when they finished to migrate all their machines for example). This extended LTS will also have some restrictions in terms of packages that we can support. For instance, we will no longer support the linux kernel from wheezy, you will have to switch to the kernel used in jessie (or maybe we will maintain a backport ourselves in wheezy). It is also not yet clear whether we can support OpenJDK since upstream support of version 7 stops at the end of June. And switching to OpenJDK 8 is likely non-trivial. There are likely other unsupportable packages too. Anyway, if your company needs wheezy security support past end of May, now is the time to worry about it. Please send us a mail with the list of source packages that you would like to see supported. The more companies get involved, the less it will cost to each of them. Our plans are to gather the required data from interested companies in the next few weeks and make a first estimation of the price they will have to pay for the first quarter by mid-march. Then they confirm that they are OK with the offer and we will emit invoices in April so that they can be paid before end of May. Note however that we decided that it would not be possible to sponsor extended wheezy support (and thus influence which packages are supported) if you are not among the regular LTS sponsors (at bronze level at least). Extended LTS would not be possible without the regular LTS so if you need the former, you have to support the latter too. No comment | Liked this article? Click here. | My blog is Flattr-enabled. [Less]