18
Oct
05

A little planet is a dangerous thing

I had a quick wander through Planet Debian and it took to on to such interesting things as progress shots on a graphical Debian-Installer (Not actually from Planet Debian, but I can’t work out where I saw that now), some very funny Sinfest mods (If you’re a Debian person..), an absolute dream-sounding job (Yes, those two’re the same blog. She’s got some good stuff there. Including a capcha that apparently expects you to type ϖ…), A commentary against the patch-management systems that have started be become quite common in Debian, and to which I converted FreeRADIUS as my first post-Sarge task, personally implanted RFID chips, and musical breast implants.

The weirdest thing about that last one is the idea that fifteen years from now, we’ll still be playing mp3s. Hell, an observable percentage of people I know are either .ogg or .flac already. I myself stopped downloading mp3s because I’ve had two hard disks fail from what I suspect was the weight of my mp3 collections. And my laptop only had the most essential 100 Mb or so of mp3s (Cowboy Bebop, Andrew Denton’s Musical Challenge and a couple of random bits like the Blues Brothers’ Everybody Needs Somebody and Abbot and Costello’s Who’s On First. And ガガガSP’s 卒業 single, but I don’t listen to that very often. In fact, I don’t listen to any of these mp3s much anymore. My desktop machine’s no longer in front of a west-facing window, and I’m not towing my laptop to work in the upstairs basement at TransACT anymore.

I’ve also ripped my new Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy soundtrack to flac, because either mplayer or copy protection (it doesn’t say CD Audio on the cover! Aha! Treachery uncloaked!) means it skips every second in my DVD drive. I don’t have a CD-audio cable, so analog isn’t an option, but happily cdparanoia was happy to extract it perfectly to the hard disk. Analog mode works fine in my laptop, but I avoid doing that because I’m sure that the laptop’s DVD drive is dodgy and just waiting to eat something important.

Oh, and I scored a new TV. Well, technically my dad gave me an old TV of his, but it’s an improvement over my old one because it’s larger, it has OSD, it has a remote, and it has AV inputs. So I plugged my gamecube in, and played Resident Evil Zero for a couple of hours. I only get Resident Evil Zero out when I change TVs, it seems (it was still in the gamecube from when I was getting my TV Tuner working in Linux) but the TV doesn’t do PAL60 so I can’t have another burl at The Ocarina Of Time, although I could try and finish Metroid Prime at long last.

On a more personal note, it’s looking more and more like the work at TransACT’s dried up, and I’m starting to think I should start seriously exploring my Melbourne options. I’ve got the JET information evening on Wednesday night, so I’ll have an idea of how many people I’m going up against.

I prolly should talk more about the Melbourne plan here. As it happens, I dropped out of everything else to focus on BU and TransACT, and now that work looks like it’s going to dry up. I can do my BU work as easily from interstate as I do now (technically, I do the work from my flat in Queanbeyan, so I’m already interstate) and frankly I’d like to try living somewhere with trains and other such public transport and try getting a job I actually like (TransACT’s nice, but I need a change). So I figure either Melbourne or Sydney fits so far. I’ve friends in both cities, as well as family in Melbourne, so it’ll come down to the job opportunities. Melbourne’s main advantages are Cybersource whom a friend of mine mentioned are likely to be looking for people, as well as a project a friend of mine is looking into which I’d love to get involved in. When I thought I’d have TransACT work until the end of the year, I was thinking I’d go to Melbourne in February (after linux.conf.au 2006) and find a five month job until JET blasts off in July. Now I’m thinking maybe I should be looking to go in December/January… The problem with this plan is that I’ve got a possibly opportunity coming up in Canberra in online shops, and I’d have to break lease on my current flat. And I don’t have any savings to afford to be in Melbourne without a job. And it’s already mid-October. So I’d better get on with it.

On the “actually getting things done” front, I finally submitted a FreeRADIUS 1.0.5-2 which should clear the logjam 1.0.5-1 became when libltdl3-dev started conflicting with libtool1.4 without warning. I’m disappointed in this back-door method of forcing libtool1.4 out, where either a Replaces in libltdl3-dev or a diversion in libtool1.4 would have allowed the libltdl3-dev/libtool transfer of ltdl.m4 without boning me unneccessarily. As it is, the solution became to drag in the relevant parts of the libtool1.4 package to update the in-tree versions of the files. This is bad, but I can’t NMU libtool1.4, and the patch I was given to upgrade FreeRADIUS to libtool 1.5 was unneccesarily intrusive to my mind, and I couldn’t distill the libtool parts from the ‘change how we build the package’ parts.

I’ve also been actively hunting bugs in packages I’m using, leading to patches to libpam-mount (So I can mount my home directory from Keitarou on Mutsumi from XDM and safe from segfaults due to configuration), lftp (so it doesn’t abort when a download finishes ^_^ Upstream didn’t use my patch, but it _was_ a minimal — but not optimal — solution which neatly explicated the problem, I think) and xmame (so I can use xmame with programs with CHD files). In the process, I also submitted bugs to pam and liblircclient0 which are simple non-crashers that valgrind picked up. I’m so glad I started using valgrind, it’s the absolute bee’s knees for finding any kind of memory misuse bug which might otherwise lead to a segfault much later. I also used it on libnifi which majorly improved my memory management and stopped a whole bunch of segfaults. ^_^ I also took the opportunity tonight to point out to the php4 team that libcurl3-dev had disappeared during its autobuild time, much as libltdl3-dev broke FreeRADIUS during its autobuild time. It happened a week ago, so I expect they knew about it, but I was surprised to see absolutely no bug about it.


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