Aug 31, 2008
A coypu investigates a feather left over from an argument between a couple of Canada Geese.
Discount has been pushed up to version 1.2.10 with a tiny bug fix that corrects the behavior of
title is null.
Petite Abeille reported that null
titles would result in discount simply ignoring the embedded linkiness, which was not the correct behavior. The New Code! fixes that, and lets you put all the null titles in that you want (even if it leads to
(url) generating the less-than-useful
<a href="url"></a> output.)
It’s not a very large release, but it fixes a bug, which is certainly good enough for this morning’s dump of New Code!
Aug 30, 2008
The next door neighbor’s porch at nighttime.
Aug 29, 2008
Dust Mite and Influenza attempt to debug the annoying “tick tick” that’s coming from inside my Macbook Air.
My shiny new Macbook Air, which is not even three months old yet, woke up from a nap this afternoon and started making little “tick tick” “tick” “tick tick” noises. This is not good, because, in my experience, when a computer starts going “tick tick” that means the hard drive is about to become an ex hard drive.
I wonder if the damned thing is still under warranty or if I’m about to become the proud owner of an US$1800 boatanchor?
The working Eng! has been pulled out of the enginehouse yard and was sitting on the mainline by the enginehouse tonight. I wonder if there’s some sort of railfan excursion going on this weekend?
Aug 28, 2008
Mavis stations herself on the rug in the front hall for her daily ration of tummy scritching.
WWUS74 KLIX 281550
URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED
A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED
STRENGTH…RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.
MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS…PERHAPS LONGER. AT
LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL…LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.
THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.
PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD
FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE
BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE…INCLUDING SOME
WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.
HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A
FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.
AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH
AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY
VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE
ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE
WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.
POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN
AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY
THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING…BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW
CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE
AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR
HURRICANE FORCE…OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE…ARE
CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.
ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET…DO NOT VENTURE
ASSUMPTION-LIVINGSTON-LOWER JEFFERSON-LOWER LAFOURCHE-
LOWER PLAQUEMINES-LOWER ST. BERNARD-LOWER TERREBONNE-ORLEANS-
ST. CHARLES-ST. JAMES-ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST-ST. TAMMANY-TANGIPAHOA-
UPPER JEFFERSON-UPPER LAFOURCHE-UPPER PLAQUEMINES-UPPER ST. BERNARD-
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005
Vpasswd has been pushed up to version 0.3 with a generalized cleanup that strips out some of the extreme dependencies on the FreeBSD 4.9 system I built it on (the single machine, apparently, that it has been used on. This is not what I’d call my most popular piece of code) and attempts to drag it forward so that I can build it on machines ranging from MacOS 10.5 (my current Unix of choice,) to FreeBSD 4.x to Mastodon Linux to SLS Linux.
The changes are:
- Replace configure.inc with the version from discount
- in configure.sh,
- check for the existance of libgen.h
- check to see if the crypt() function requires libcrypt
- many #include file cleanups
I don’t pretend that anyone will actually use vpasswd, but it’s been sitting neglected for a long time (the original code was discovered before I started using b*tk*pp*r, and I didn’t split vpasswd off into a separate project until after b*tk*pp*r had its spectacular breakup with the whole free software world, so this code never even made it into version control until, um, two hours ago when I
git inited the source code and bounced it around the build farm) and it was long overdue for a tuneup so that I can attempt to fly it on something built in this millenia.
- Not used by anyone
- Not used on any system released after 1999
- Very slow moving
What’s not to love? It’s the perfect New Code! for your hair-tearing-out-and-screaming requirements!
Aug 27, 2008
The new replacement working Eng! heads towards the
SPYellow Menace interchange to pick up three refrigerator cars for delivery to the warehouses in the Milwaukie industrial park. I know it was picking up the refrigerator cars because I (briefly) caught sight of them when we were walking home after the Captain Bogg & Salty concert at Sellwood Park.
Aug 26, 2008
An in-focus view of the “Brownwood” artificial wetland that’s just east of Powell Butte along the Portland Traction trail. It’s amazing how much better screw-mount lenses work after I sawed the extension tube off the m42 to k-mount adaptor I’m using.
(And, as an aside, I must be getting into better shape. When I started riding my bicycle earlier this summer it would take me 1h45 to go the 19.5 miles from home to this spot and return; today it took me 1h21 ( ~14.5 mph including cooling my heels at stoplights and stopsigns; ~15mph when I was actually moving, including one half-mile uphill(!) sprint at 26mph) and I didn’t immediately fall over dead when I walked into the house. If it wasn’t for the teeny detail that it would take many more hours to do it, I’d be tempted to push my daily ride out to 40-50 miles so I could be in shape to do some of the ridiculously long-haul rides that the local bike clubs will be putting on next summer.)
I ripped out a couple of blocks of the driveway earlier this summer, and because I didn’t want to go out and buy sod I ended up doing a hair-transplant-style sodding where the blocks were – I walked around the house looking for where little clumps of grass were growing out between the concrete slabs, dug them up, and plugged them into the two square yards of dirt I’d dumped where the driveway pieces used to be. Most of those clumps of grass ended up being dead grass, because the shock of being dug up and moved was too much for their tiny vascular systems, but some of the grass flourished. And some of that grass wasn’t grass, but weeds.
Weeds with pretty flowers, like this one, which I snapped a picture of after I dragged the hose around and watered all the transplanted grass in the yard. (55mm Super-Tak, f2.8, 1/750th sec, taken from .45 meters away (the minimum focusing distance of the lens.))
Aug 25, 2008
A pile of rocks alongside the Portland Traction mainline in Oaks Bottom.
Aug 24, 2008
Dorrie lounges around at the dining room table.
Aug 23, 2008
A stack of bricks at the eastern edge of the Columbia Brickworks property in Gresham, slowly being buried under a heap of blackberry weeds.
Aug 22, 2008
The few, the proud, the Dust Mite army.
The northbound Coast Starlight passes a southbound Yellow Menace freight just south of the Portland Traction trail bridge over the
SPYellow Menace mainline.
Discount has been pushed up to version 1.2.9 with the addition of, ahem, a new version number, because the only thing that ended up being published with version 1.2.8 was the 1.2.8 version number (it appears that git pushed the VERSION file over to pell, but nothing else? This is not particularly useful.)
So, from my point of view, there’s nothing interesting here, but from everyone else’s point of view, this New Code! has everything that was promised for 1.2.8, but which never got delivered.
Perhaps I will revert back to SCCS for subsequent software development. Having changes just not propagate is not exactly what I’d call good behavior in a distributed version control system.
Git is a lovely version control system, but for some strange reason it occasionally decides that two copies of the same source are mysteriously out of date with respect to each other and it thus won’t accept pushes from one to the other unless I first pull a (bogus) changeset from the other, then revert it out.
A few days ago, the horrible thing updated one file out of a changeset, but
left all of the other files unchanged? And this was the 1.2.8 discount release, which ended up being published as 1.2.7 with the 1.2.8 VERSION file?
I’d update my copy of git to v1.6, except it was more of a pain than I liked to wrap 184.108.40.206 with configure.sh and port it to Unices that are more than six months old, and, given the Open Source®©™ foundations of the product, I strongly suspect it’s not gotten any easier to port.
Aug 21, 2008
Leo, between naps.
Aug 20, 2008
About a decade ago, we bought a weedy, but very pretty, perennial flower at a Planned Parenthood garden party event, which we then planted in one of the wilder stretches of our side yard. It’s been hanging on since then, putting up 18-24 inch flower stalks and 2-3 flowers a year. This year, for some reason, it decided that this was the season to grow 4 feet tall and flower like there was no tomorrow.
So I shot it.
55mm Super-Tak, f16 @ 1/180th sec, built-in flash (at full power, of course, since the *istDS won’t do TTL with the built-in flash.)
Aug 19, 2008
If we had our regular long hot dry summer, these strawberry plants (which, as you may have noticed, are still in the gotten-from-the-shop pots they were in when they came home 10 weeks ago) would have shrivelled up and died a long time ago. They came close a couple of times when we did get a (short) hot spell, and I had to dump water on them a couple of times a day to keep them from completely collapsing into dried leaves and twigs. But, no, it’s been cloudy, rainy, and cold for way more than I’d expect from a Portland summer, and thus these woefully neglected fruit-bearing plants manage to stagger along until we finally get around to finding a place to plant them.
Aug 18, 2008
It’s not as if the goddamn thing doesn’t need to be replaced (I’ve been threatening to replace the sidewalk for the past year, but hahahahahahaha! I’ve not had enough time, and now I don’t have enough time or enough money!) but this is sort of the whipped cream on top of the rose beetle and okra ice cream sundae that is our (too goddamn big!) house and collapsing garage.
At least I’ve managed to pull out most of the driveway (thus destroying the resale value of the house, because you CaN’t HaVe A hOuSe WiThOut A dRiVeWaY iN tHiS mOdErN wOrLd!) so it’s not been a complete festival of helplessness while the whole pile of junk collapses around my ears. But it’s pretty damn close.
How in the name of G-d to people manage to keep big houses up? We can’t even use 1200 square feet of this house because it’s poorly insulated, and we’ve pretty much abandoned 600 more square feet because it’s not very well arranged – and I’m not even employed so I (theoretically) have time to maintain the stupid thing.
If it was up to me, I’d sell this damned house in a minute and move into someplace that’s half the size. A smaller house might actually be laid out in such a way that I could have an office somewhere other than tucked into the corner of the dining room.
It came to my attention recently that ndialog was lacking a certain something in the functionality department. I got a bug report that said that some subwindows ended up with
garbage frames on modern versions of Linux, but since I don’t run any modern
Linuxes (I get more than enough exposure to Open Source®©™ fashions
via the Macintosh, thankyouverymuch) I tried to reproduce the defect on MacOS
10.5. I couldn’t actually reproduce the defect, because I couldn’t actually
build the code.
Several days later, I had
- rolled configure.sh up
to a more recent version.
- killed a defect where
dialog_gauge would dump core if I didn’t put an
[OK] button on the menu (boundary condition bug where I wasn’t checking
for a boundary!)
- killed a defect where html menus would dump core if I did page forward
too many times (incorrect prototype bug which gcc didn’t detect because
it was too busy whining about signed vs. unsigned scalars.)
- redone the guts of
ndhelp.c to have it use
instead of the inline flexible string goop that was there beforehand.
but was not able to reproduce the window garbage frame problem. Oh, well, can’t win them all.
But at least this code now works on one modern Unixoid system, so it’s dimly possible that people might be able to use it and find other defects that I’ve missed so far. Good enough for New Code!? If I had any shame, it wouldn’t be, but I don’t, so here it is!
Aug 17, 2008
A somewhat less glare-ridden picture of one of the new guided trolley busses at D-FW airport. I wonder what’s being done with the old (outside traction rail) bus network that these (lionel-style center traction rail) busses replaced?
After nine days (and 10(!) pounds) away from home, it’s really really nice to get back and see another pair of SD600s running on the interurban line to the airport.
Aug 16, 2008
Russell reads The Little Prince.
Silas, on the other hand, spends more time digging.
A westbound CSX train heads across the bridge towards Biloxi, framed through the piers of the new highway 90 bridge. (55mm super-tak, f5.6@1/350th sec.)
The seagulls in Ocean Springs might be accustomed to people, but they don’t tend to stick around when those pesky one-eyed clicking monsters come too close to them. (55mm super-tak, f8.0 @ 1/125th.)
Aug 15, 2008
This grasshopper isn’t even grown up yet. When it’s grown up, you’ll probably see it on the evening news when it lays waste to Biloxi, MS.
The crab-eating brown widow spider at the NE corner of the ancestral estate doesn’t just eat crustaceans; here it was spotted just after it caught and killed a giant cockroach. (photo taken with my 55mm Super-Tak; f16 @ 1/180th second and using the little built-in flash on my *istDS.)
How about a nice cup of tea?
Aug 14, 2008
Russell holds Wrigley the boa constrictor, who normally lives at the ancestral estate but who is spending this week at the inlaws' house.
The CSX mainline from New Orleans to the east runs right behind my sister-in-law’s back yard, so all I have to do is wait around for half an hour or so and I get to see engines that are not yellow.
Usually. The very next train I saw was a westbound freight being pulled by three Yellow Menace engs. No pictures for that one, I’m afraid.
Russell takes a break from crabfishing.
Silas listens while his grandmother talks about important computer stuff.
The network at the ancestral estate is connected to the rest of the world by the wireless equivalent of a pair of tin cans and a string, and that string broke early yesterday morning. Thus any attempts to post a picture a day foundered on the reefs of being stuck 20 kilometers away from the nearest open access point with no way to get there from here.
Fortunately for me, the local cable monopoly finally got around to extending their network back into this suburb today, and the ancestral estate abruptly dropped the wireless tin can network and switched over to cable about 20 minutes ago. So I could post this picture and, mumbling incoherently, return to my usual routine.
Aug 12, 2008
A pair of pelicans sit on pilings at the ancestral estate and preen themselves while I walk through fire ant nests to get pictures of them (sorry, there are no photos of the fire ants; when I look down and see thousands of ants doing synchronised chomping, my first concern is to get the little bastards off my feet before they decide to expand their campaign, and my second concern is to call in a chemical weapons strike against their nest.)
Aug 11, 2008
Discount has been pushed up to version 1.2.8 with the addition of a couple of features suggested by members of the Ruby community for the rdiscount Ruby addon:
- Rick Olson submitted a patch to
disable emphasis in the middle of words, because he wanted to be
able to discuss code with embedded
_underscores without having
markdown go berserk on him. I can’t blindly disable midword
emphasis without breaking standards compliance, but I did add the
new configure option
--relaxed-emphasis which does break
the emphasis rules for
_ (and, as of right now, only
which makes things like a_b (or,
if you’re describing code, thing like
time_t or …)
not work correctly anymore. This which
may not be a problem for you if you’re writing about code and you
don’t want to spend a lot of time putting ‘`’s into your code.
- John Muhl, who has developed a markdown extension for the CMS
package Radiant, has found a couple of
things that discount doesn’t parse properly. One of them
<div>s) I’m not going to touch, but the other
one is a cosmetic bug where the atx-style header
# FOO generates
<h1> FOO</h1>, which may not be wrong, but it’s ugly and I’ve
- Ryan Tomayko, who wrote the Ruby package rdiscount in the first place, announced it on his weblog, and one of the resulting comments expressed the desire
for a way to sanitize embedded html. Well, I can do that – I added
the new flag MKD_NOHTML, which blocks all embedded html and
forces the user to use the markup language for doing markup, like
G-d himself intended.
There are, oddly enough, no bug fixes here, just new features. This, no doubt, means that something is about to explode, and isn’t that a good enough reason to rush out and install some nice New Code! right now?
It was seriously raining this morning, so I tried to take some flash pictures of the downpouring rain. The results were interesting, particularly after a little bit of playing around with iPhoto.
Aug 10, 2008
The ancestral estate has a golden orb spider at the NW corner, a crab eating spider at the SE corner, and this writing spider at the SW corner. It’s at least 3" across, which makes it a good match for the golden orb spider at the NW corner.
The spiders down here are pretty, and huge; it’s another lure that calls me back towards New Orleans, which, given the batshit insane government that runs Louisiana, is a dangerous dangerous thing.
A banana spider on the ground floor of the ancestral estate in Mississippi. She’s approximately the size of my hand, which is getting into OHMYGODAGIANTSPIDER!!! territory, but, boy, she’s a pretty giant carnivorous arachnid.
Beware of the savage dog.
Aug 09, 2008
One of the new automated trolley busses at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, snapped through a window with my “new” screwmount 55mm f1.8 Super-Tak. The picture would have turned out better if I had a 49mm polarized filter, which, alas, I do not.
A very dead looking Six Flags amusement park punctuates the miles of devastation on the east side of New Orleans, taken as we drove along I-10 on our way to Ocean Springs, MS. The other side of the punctuation is Roy Nagin International Airport, which, at 5:10pm on a Saturday, was approximately as busy as Portland International is at 11:30pm on a indifferent weekday in the middle of winter.
Heck of a job, Brownie. Heck of a job, George. Heck of a Job, Hillary, Barack, Nancy, Harry, and the rest of the pathetic “Opposition” in this godforsaken pit of a country. I hope the pretend G-d you all worship turns out to be real, so you can get the judgment you deserve for letting New Orleans rot while rubberstamping the ongoing butchery going on in Iraq.
Aug 08, 2008
An eastbound airport/interstate/gresham train crosses 12th Ave on its way to the temporary terminal at Old Town/Chinatown.
When preparing to go on a trip, don’t forget important things like the family Dust Mite!
Aug 07, 2008
Two photos, taken this afternoon, from the Portland Traction trail bridge over the
The lead twinkie on the northbound Coast Starlight.
The F69 pulling the 6:15 Cascades.
Aug 06, 2008
Time for a nap. Again.
Aug 05, 2008
Domestic cats live a life of hard labo(u)r – after all, they’ve got to walk from their catbeds to the fud bowls and back – so it’s not surprising that they need to stop every now and then for a little nap.
Silas reads a comic book at the dining room table.
When I bought a pair of cheap m42 lenses to act as a stopgap until I could get my 50mm f1.2 repaired, I also bought a cheap m42 to K mount adapter. It had certain philosophical issues with the idea of infinity – issues that would make the whole process of taking railroad pictures somewhat of an issue in the traditional “is that a locomotive, or a watercolo(u)r painting” way.
Well, it was fun to play around with “yes, we have no infinity” for a day, but I am not so much of an art photographer as I am a “Ogg use hammer, make wheel!” photographer.
So, this somewhat clumsy adaptor…
… had a 20 minute appointment with a hobby saw in my laboratory, and came out of the wash…
… without the latch and extension tube attached anymore.
Infinity begins at home, and US$12 is a good price for it.
Aug 04, 2008
The 55mm Super-Tak doesn’t suffer quite as badly from the extension tube effect as the Tamron does, but it is showing some of the symptoms.
The el-cheapo m42 to k-mount adaptor I’ve got to fit my two screwmount lenses onto my *istDS is just a teeny bit out of spec; the (huge) Tamron 28mm lens claims to have an 22cm-∞ focus, but this adaptor is enough of an extension tube so that 22cm is about 5cm and ∞ is about, um, 5 meters.
It’s not a particularly good long-range solution, but it will give me a chance to play some macro games until I get out the saws and files and trim down the adaptor so that I can focus on large mechanical devices at a reasonable distance.
Aug 03, 2008
Why, yes, I am taking pictures of my socks. Why do you ask?
Aug 02, 2008
A looooooong exposure as we drove down 17th this evening.
Aug 01, 2008
Dust Mite helps me play with my “new” Pentax Super-Takumar f1.8 55mm lens. It’s not much more than “play”, because the Super-Tak is a screwmount lens and my *istDS is a K-mount camera, so, at least until the screwmount adapter arrives, I take pictures by holding the lens in place in front of the camera with one hand, holding the camera with another hand, and focusing the lens with another hand. Since this requires more hands than I’ve actually got, it makes the process somewhat less than the non-precision operation it was before the f1.2 lens started to disassemble itself.