Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birthday Coming Up

Some people have asked me what I want for my birthday. My general answer is nothing, but if you really want to get me something, I would like anything off my Amazon wish list or a gift certificate to AES. AES is an amateur radio equipment dealer and I've been trying to save up to buy a new radio from them. AES makes it easy to buy gift certificates online, click here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

EARC Meeting

Finally made it to an EARC meeting last night. Yes, I am a nerd.

I met some people I've talked to on the air, which was nice. Everyone was very friendly. I got some information on HF radios that I'm looking at.

The presentation at the meeting was about 2m SSB communication, the "ignored" mode. I am familiar with SSB, but have never used it. I was not aware that people did SSB on 2m (VHF, around 144Mhz). Generally, the 2m band is reserved for local communications on mobile and handheld radios. But the lower portion of the band has a slice set aside for SSB communications.

Reasons for using 2m SSB given were reduced power consumption (good in emergencies since you want to conserve power), practice SSB tuning before hitting HF bands, practice CW before hitting HF bands, and getting the cool Battlestar Galactica radio effect.

At any rate, it was an interesting meeting. Learned a lot and had fun. Now I'm looking at radios to buy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Chris Butler, You Strike Again

For the past week I've been getting a daily call from 1-800-932-4950. The first two times, I picked it up. There was no one on the other end except a voice detector. Once I said, "hello," it played the recording. The recording just repeated, "please wait to be connected". It did this several times and eventually hung up.

I've been ignoring the call since then. I Googled the number and found that it belongs to MRS Associates, a bill collector. Great, probably Chris Butler again.

I called the number back and got someone. Sure enough, they were looking for the dead beat Chris Butler.

Ass hat.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dear MacOS X,

I do not want the filesystem journal enabled. It does nothing for me. All it does is prevent me from being able to write to HFS+ volumes from Linux. Each time I have to boot you up, you find it necessary to enable the journal on all detected HFS+ volumes. Stop! If I've disabled it, leave it that way.


Not part of the letter:
Linux lies. Check this out:

dcantrel@rabbet ~$ mount | grep External
/dev/sdb2 on /media/External type hfsplus (rw,nosuid,nodev,uhelper=hal)
dcantrel@rabbet ~$ cd /media/External/
dcantrel@rabbet External$ touch can_I_write_to_you
touch: cannot touch `can_I_write_to_you': Read-only file system

Oh, I see how it is. Fine, if it's read-only, then don't show rw in the mount options list!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nerd Gloat

Patches of mine for ISC dhcp have started to be evaluated by upstream (which is ISC) and merged in to the HEAD branch for dhcp. ISC also told me that I'm getting attribution for these patches in the RELNOTES or something like that. My name in a text file! Woo!

I feel this is a huge accomplishment because it's so very difficult to submit patches for ISC in the first place and have them accepted.

Wait, that might be fail because I could then possibly be blamed for dhcp problems. Hmmm...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Lost in Lost

I missed the episode that aired on February 11th, but the faux Tivo provided by Oceanic Time Warner cable saved it for us. I made sure that we watched it before watching last night's episode because if you watch any of LOST out of order, you lose what continuity you might have already had.

The February 11th show was really cool. The jumping around in time thing is cool. I also like some of the last names of somewhat recent characters. Faraday, Hawking, even Lacombe (but I guess he didn't live past that episode). Was I the only one who laughed when his last name was mentioned as Lacombe? Get it? Same last name as the French scientist from Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind, investigating the weird time travel stuff. Well, I thought it was clever of the writers.

Faraday (as in Michael Faraday, we use part of his last name as the unit of measure for capacitors, the farad) and Hawking (as in Stephen Hawking) are amusing because they are physics people in real life *and* in the show. Nod to the writers again.

And finally some more smoke monster. I was wondering when that would show up again.

So the end of the show sort of fell apart for me. Again with the frozen wheel thing. Need more explanation, show.

The February 18th episode was also cool. Finally everyone got back to the island, *but*, I was disappointed at how it happened. I do want to know what happened to the plane and the rest of the people.

Before they met up with crazy swinging pendulum lady in LA, we were under the assumption that Kate, Hurley, and Sayid were not going to be on the plane. But then they get to the airport and of course Kate is there because she came over to Jack's place. And Hurley is there with his 79 tickets. And Sayid is being escorted around in cuffs. OK, being the clever viewer that I am, I know why Kate is there (well, at least on the surface, she just decided to go). Sayid has been arrested for something (but I guess that doesn't explain why he's on the plane...extradition?) and since we saw the scene with Ben where he got the living crap beat out of him, my guess is Sayid did it.

But that doesn't explain Hurley! Or the guitar case. Or the 78 extra tickets. Come on show, you need to do better than that. Who asked him to go? I need more information!

And then it ends with the people on the plane doing the time warp and ending up in the jungle again. Jack, surprisingly like he started in the pilot episode from so long ago. Hurley's kicking it in the pond at the base of the waterfall (see pictures of the shoot over on Jorge Garcia's blog). And Kate is passed out on some rocks. And we are left wondering where everyone else from the plane is.

And then Jin drives up wearing a Dharma uniform and behind the wheel of a clean brand new Dharma van. The hell? Are we in the 70s now? Like those vans though. Actually, I'm ok with that. I always wanted to see more of the Dharma Initiative stuff.

I love the show, but sometimes it makes me so angry because it won't give me enough information.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Visitors for 2009

It's the beginning of February and we already have our second set of visitors for the year. The City and County of Honolulu might wise up to us and start taxing us as a hotel if we aren't careful.

We've been able to spend weekends with them and evenings, but can't really take days off since we both work. Karen even had to work some weekends (sad).

I now have an annual pass to Diamond Head as going to the top is a popular quick thing to do. My amateur radio club (yes, I am super nerd) just replaced the antenna feed line for the Diamond Head repeater. If you visit Honolulu and are an amateur radio operator, bring a handheld 2m or 70cm radio and set it for either 146.88(-) or 444.50(+). There is a nightly net at 7:30 PM HST, sometimes we hear visitors.

Finally got to try Cholos on the North Shore. I enjoyed it. It's a 28 mile drive from home, but I don't mind. I don't do any other driving.

Eaten at The Shack twice recently and have been to Hanauma Bay once so far this year. That was my first time to go snorkeling, which is kind of sad after being in Hawaii for about a year and a half now. It was really fun.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Pyparted Coming Along Nicely

On the anaconda team, we have been planning a major storage code overhaul in the installer. We are targeting Fedora 11 for the backend code rewrite. My particular contribution right now is rewriting pyparted, the Python bindings for libparted.

For those who don't know, pyparted was written so that anaconda (written in Python) could use libparted (written in C) to lay down partitions on disk. What you see in Fedora right now as pyparted is a simple module that provides only what anaconda wanted. It's not the entire libparted API.

For the storage code overhaul, I (along with Chris Lumens) have been rewriting pyparted to expose the entire libparted API to anaconda and really any program that wants to use it. The project is on Fedora Hosted, but I have not made a project page yet. Get source from here.

Currently working on moving anaconda over to the new pyparted code, which is taking some time. Once that's done, I can drop the new pyparted in to rawhide.

If you are interested in pyparted for one of your projects, please check out the code from the git repo and start playing around with it today. Questions and bug reports to me, please.