An aggregation of our Blog Roll, made up of acmqueue authors.   more

Postings for June 2017:  (49 posts)
Fri, 23 Jun 2017 20:17:02 UTC

Canada: Trump shows us what happens when good politicians demand surveillance powers

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They’ve assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was “We stand on guard for thee.” I... more

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 18:00:00 UTC

Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX): Speed Up DynamoDB Response Times from Milliseconds to Microseconds without Application Rewrite.

Posted By Werner Vogels

Today, I'm excited to announce the general availability of Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX), a fully managed, highly available, in-memory cache that can speed up DynamoDB response times from milliseconds to microseconds, even at millions of requests per second. You can add DAX to your existing DynamoDB applications with just a few clicks in the AWS Management Console  no application rewrites required. DynamoDB has come a long way in the 5 years since we announced its availability in January 2012. As we said at the time, DynamoDB was a result of 15 years of learning in the area of large scale non-relational databases and cloud services.

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:00:00 UTC

Expanding the Cloud  An AWS Region is coming to Hong Kong

Posted By Werner Vogels

Today, I am very excited to announce our plans to open a new AWS Region in Hong Kong! The new region will give Hong Kong-based businesses, government organizations, non-profits, and global companies with customers in Hong Kong, the ability to leverage AWS technologies from data centers in Hong Kong. The new AWS Asia Pacific (Hong Kong) Region will have three Availability Zones and be ready for customers for use in 2018. Over the past decade, we have seen tremendous growth at AWS. As a result, we have opened 43 Availability Zones across 16 AWS Regions worldwide. Last year, we opened new regions in Korea, India, the US, Canada, and the UK.

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 18:00:00 UTC

NYC DevOps meeting tomorrow (Tuesday)

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Don't forget to RSVP by 1pm the day of the meeting:

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 03:15:49 UTC

Time for the new disk

Posted By Greg Lehey

While processing my house photos today, ran into an unexpected error: /Photos: write failed, filesystem is full Yes, the disk is nearly full, but there were still about 5 GB left250 times the capacity of my first ST-225 disk 30 years ago. It seems that my conversion scripts are putting the temporary files on /Photos instead of /photowork (an SSD). Time to fix that. In the meantime, removed some junk and gained another 10 GB, enough for the while. ACM only downloads articles once.

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 03:05:15 UTC

Copying photos in the Modern age

Posted By Greg Lehey

Doing my comparisons required getting them off the camera, of course. For the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, that's simple. Or is it? The methods provided by the camera manufacturer and are so complicated that I've had to write my own script to read them in. Still, even without that it wouldn't be that difficult. Connect the camera to computer, by USB cable because the app is so appalling, specify the path name of the files, and copy them. This is roughly what I had to do with the AMPS-214: === root@eureka (/dev/pts/60) ~ 103 -> mount -t msdos /dev/da4 /mnt === root@eureka (/dev/pts/60) ~ 105 -> cd /mnt/Photos/ === root@eureka (/dev/pts/60) /mnt/Photos 107 -> cp -p IMG0000* ~grog/Photos/20170616 === root@eureka (/dev/pts/60) /mnt/Photos 108 -> cd === root@eureka (/dev/pts/60) ~ 109 -> umount /mnt Total ...

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Games with Girls

Posted By Tim Bray

Weirdly enough, for the first time in my life Ive been spending videogame time with members of the opposite gender; specifically, my wife and daughter. Which is an excuse for reflections on (and groovy pictures from) No Mans Sky. Open world, with spouse I saw a review somewhere and on impulse picked up Horizon Zero Dawn, a pretty and fast-moving open-world bowshooter. I was watching one of the early cinematics when Lauren walked by, got stuck, and sat on the sofa. Surprisingly, she stayed there after the movie while I steered Aloy (the female protagonist) off into the game. Very surprisingly, a bit later she started pointing out opportunities to harvest goodies and dodge monsters.

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 05:12:19 UTC

New thermometer

Posted By Greg Lehey

My new infrared thermometer arrived today. The specs are identical with the old one, but it's much fasterand it consistently shows 1° higher than the old one for most surfaces. But in the deep freeze, for example, it shows up to 10° lower. Which is right? Maybe both of them? To be investigated. ACM only downloads articles once. It's possible that this article has changed since being downloaded, but the only way you can find out is by looking at the original article.

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 03:05:44 UTC

More AMPS-214 investigations

Posted By Greg Lehey

I took some comparison photos with Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, Samsung I-9100 and the ONIX AMPS-214 yesterday evening, but they weren't very comparable, so I tried again today. I did a first summary in yesterday's article, but there's more. Clearly the dynamic range of the AMPS-214 phone is severely limited. But it does offer exposure compensation. Tried a compensation of 2 EV either way, with results more surprising than useful. Here the same scene taken with + 2EV, no compensation, and -2 EV Somehow both are offset very much towards dark.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:00:00 UTC

Stackoverflow... but for questions about how to teach CS

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

My high school had only one computer science teacher. When she had a problem or question, she had no where to turn. I can't imagine how isolating and stressful that must have been. is a Stack Exchange website for computer science educators to ask questions and share successful teaching techniques. It was in private beta until this week. Now everyone can access. If it Are you an educator looking for advice about how to integrate Git into an introductory CS class? Maybe you need to find a better analogy to help a student that doesn't understand 0-indexing? How do you convince students that well-indented code is worth the effort?

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 03:15:05 UTC

Worst ever phone camera

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne went shopping yesterday. She had mentioned that there were other sprouts available than bean sprouts, so I suggested she took a photo with her phone camera. That was the easy part. How do I get the photos out of the phone? The phone in question is an ONIX AMPS-214, as it calls itself internally. It's not exactly a smart phone: in fact, that's why we bought it. The fact that it had a camera was completely irrelevant: it had a keyboard. Today was the first time we used the camera, and it took some difficulty to find out how to get the images off the phone.

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 03:15:04 UTC

Worst ever phone camera

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne went shopping yesterday. She had mentioned that there were other sprouts available than bean sprouts, so I suggested she took a photo with her phone camera. That was the easy part. How do I get the photos out of the phone? The phone in question is an ONIX AMPS-214, as it calls itself internally. It's not exactly a smart phone: in fact, that's why we bought it. The fact that it had a camera was completely irrelevant: it had a keyboard. Today was the first time we used the camera, and it took some difficulty to find out how to get the images off the phone.

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:00:00 UTC

NYC DevOps meeting next week: Measuring real-world DNS performance at Stack Overflow

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Next week's NYCDevOps Meetup speaker is my co-worker, Mark Henderson, on the topic of "Measuring real-world DNS performance at Stack Overflow". An in-depth look at how Stack Overflow records real-world DNS performance, and how you can do it too. You'll learn how we measured DNS performance when picking a DNS vendor, deciding whether or not to set up dual-DNS providers, and more. The meeting is Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 7:00 PM at the Stack Overflow HQ in New York City. For complete information and to RSVP, visit Space is limited. RSVP soon!

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Pie Pride

Posted By Tim Bray

I apologize in advance for bragging, something I do here only rarely. But my Mom taught me to make pie and now I make pies. Its a beautiful thing, and there are lessons to be had. Ive made two in fact. Heres the first, with Granny Smith apples inside. If you want the recipe, just roll the blog clock back a decade to August 2006, when I recorded my mothers narration. A lot of wisdom packed into six minutes or so of lousy but appealing audio. We visited her again this spring and I took a more intense lesson with hands-on and copious textual notes.

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 16:00:00 UTC

2017 State of DevOps Report

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

This year's report is fascinating! There is clear evidence that DevOps practices yield remarkable results for IT teams and organizations. Findings are related to transformational leadership, automation practices, continuous delivery, lean product management, and DevOps in not-for-profits and organizations that use off-the-shelf software.

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:39:07 UTC

Talking about contestable futures on the Imaginary Worlds podcast

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I’m in the latest episode of Imaginary Worlds, “Imagining the Internet” (MP3), talking about the future as a contestable place that we can’t predict, but that we can influence. We were promised flying cars and we got Twitter instead. That’s the common complaint against sci-fi authors. But some writers did imagine the telecommunications that changed... more

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 02:51:34 UTC

Buying beer online

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of the more interesting things about the web is that it can help me track special offers from retailers. I've been keeping an eye on Dan Murphy's web site for a while, and the price differences for beer can be over 30%. Currently I'm running low on beer, and Dan Murphy is running high on prices. How about an alternative? That's not hard to find: BWS. Took a look, and they had Becks Beer on special for $50 a slab, instead of a more usual $65. OK, I can take that. Just sign up and buy it. After half an hour, I gave up.

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 02:29:56 UTC

System vs. machine, continued

Posted By Greg Lehey

For some reason Andy Farkas was not happy with Tuesday's musings over the words machine and systems. Reading between the lines, he expects a machine to contain lots of moving parts, something that the original word never implied. From OED again, the original definition (first attested in 1545) was: A structure regarded as functioning as an independent body, without mechanical involvement. A non-mechenical machine reminds me of an animal without a soul (Latin animum), but who cares? For some reason Andy didn't like my quotations, and came up with his own, from the 1978 book digital DISTRIBUTED SYSTEMS HANDBOOK: This book was written and edited on DIGITAL Word Processing Systems (WPS) ...

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 17:44:33 UTC

How to get a signed, personalized copy of Walkaway sent to your door!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The main body of the tour for my novel Walkaway is done (though there are still upcoming stops at Denver Comic-Con, San Diego Comic-Con, the Burbank Public Library and Defcon in Las Vegas), but you can still get signed, personalized copies of Walkaway! My local, fantastic indie bookstore, Dark Delicacies, has a good supply of... more

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:43:22 UTC

DxO responds

Posted By Greg Lehey

I had more or less given up getting any serious support from DxO, but today I got a response: The crash seems related to a communication issue between dopcor.exe (in charge of image processing) and OpticsPro. It may be that an anti-virus software or a firewall application is blocking or slowing down the communication between those 2 apps, leading to an error. Can you please try disabling any of these (or adding exceptions for OpticsPro.exe and DopCor.exe) ? If such a software is not a possible track,, we would like to get a HijackThis report to investigate further.

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:23:07 UTC

Language creep

Posted By Greg Lehey

Seen on IRC today: * andyf has a difficulty with groggyhimself describing computer "systems" as machines Why? The OED doesn't have any difficulty. From machne, n. IV. 6: c. Used contextually for the particular kind of machine which the speaker or writer intends, as: a sewing machine; a printing machine or mechanical printing press; a shearing-machine (Austral.

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 00:48:08 UTC

More Samba fun

Posted By Greg Lehey

Why can't I mount network shares with the new version of Samba? Everything seems right. OK, back to take a look. I couldn't mount \\eureso\eurekahome (/home from eureso's point of view) on euroa (Microsoft Windows 7). It just hung, Cancel and scratch head. No, first look at the list of shares: It's there (drive Z:). Why was it hanging? I'll never understand Microsoft. OK, next Windows 10.

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 02:47:00 UTC

Touching up old photos

Posted By Greg Lehey

My thoughts about John Terpstra made me consider when we last saw each other. That was 13 years ago, shortly before he emigrated to the USA. But the last photos I had were at the AUUG annual conference in 2 September 2002, nearly 15 years ago: That's John at the end of the table. The other people should be recognizable. It's not much of a photo. It was taken with a Canon Ixus v, and to get it that good I had to play around a bit with my photo enhancing software.

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 01:54:23 UTC

eureso: (only) one step forward

Posted By Greg Lehey

While testing eureso, made one positive discovery: rdesktop now works with Microsoft Windows 10. Now if only the rest would be as easy. So why haven't I got Samba working on eureso yet? Partly it's distaste, mixed with difficulty understanding Microsoft networking. The documentation I'm using is chapter 25 of The Complete FreeBSD, because it contains exactly what I need. But that's over 14 years old, and Samba has changed since then. OK, what about the FreeBSD Handbook? That's more up to date, but some of the content makes assumptions about how Samba is installed, and they don't seem to match.

Tue, 13 Jun 2017 01:38:12 UTC

Hugin 2017 again

Posted By Greg Lehey

What caused my Hugin to crash yesterday? The missing GLX version suggests a library problem. And I have a machine that runs correctly. so the obvious thing to do is to compare what happens. First with ktrace. Surprise, surprise! No mention of GLX anywhere. OK, has nobody else had this problem? Yes, many, and it seems to be an X issue. That shouldn't be surprising: I missed a line in the vomit that is the output of any Hugin run: Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0". That wasn't surprising once I checked what GLX is.

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 20:20:00 UTC

Tom on the Stack Overflow Podcast this week

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Three people from the SRE team took over this week's Stack Overflow Podcast. You can hear myself, Mark Henderson and Jason Harvey rant about important topics such as how we got our start, USB Condoms, and my opinionated interpretation of the "First Day Database Destruction" discussion on Reddit. The podcast episode is announced here: (link) You can skip all that and go directly to SoundCloud here: (link) Enjoy!

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 01:46:21 UTC

eureso: Unexpected problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

Today I was supposed to be testing Samba on eureso, but things turned out differently. Yesterday I built the latest version of Hugin, so I had to test it. Not on eureka, of course: I need a functional version there. So I tried it on eureso. The results weren't quite what I expected. As usual, got lots of junk on the screen. Most is the stuff that goes into a modern equivalent of /dev/null when programs are started from a window manager. In my experience, GNOME-based is particularly noisy in this respect. (hugin:41729): Gtk-CRITICAL **: IA__gtk_widget_set_size_request: assertion 'height >= -1' failed (hugin:41729): Gtk-CRITICAL **: IA__gtk_widget_set_size_request: assertion 'height >= -1' failed Xlib:  extension "GLX" missing on display ":0".

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 01:56:19 UTC

Copying files in the modern age

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of the most primitive operations in computing is copying files. It's understandable that there should be more general protocols for networks, and in fact one of the first services on the ARPANET was the file transfer protocol, FTP, first defined on 16 April 1971 in RFC 114. With that you can copy anything anywhere, assuming that you have permission. But that's too simple. Or maybe too clunky: in a local network, the people at Berkeley decided they wanted something with semantics more like the Unix cp command. and 4.2BSD introduced rcp. But that should have been enough for anybody, right?

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 01:52:42 UTC

eureso: next day

Posted By Greg Lehey

Today I should have been setting up Samba on eureso, but I couldn't bear the thought of yet more Microsoft, so I tried out X instead. Surprise, surprise: it Just Worked. About the only issue was that Virtualbox wants to capture the mouse cursor, something that scared me in the past: once captured, you can't leave the Vbox window until you release it again with R-ctrl, something not marked on my keyboard (it's a f symbol instead). But once I crossed that hurdle, all was plain sailing. ACM only downloads articles once.

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 01:37:39 UTC

New Hugin

Posted By Greg Lehey

Hugin 2017.0.0 rc1 is available. Time to build it. In the past I've had issues with a dependency on autopano_sift_c, apparently a question of the naming: for reasons I don't understand, the port was given the name autopano-sift-C, and it appeared to conflict with autopano-sift-c elsewhere. Still, there's a simple solution: it's obsolete, so just remove the dependency altogether. All went well until installation. And then I ran into the issue that the pkg-plist didn't match reality. How do I build a new pkg-plist? In the past I did it manually, but surely there must be a way to do it.

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 01:17:59 UTC

Bloody eBay again!

Posted By Greg Lehey

After my extreme annoyance with eBay last month, I made a decision never to sell anything on eBay again, so there was no reason to add payment arrangements after changing the account to to AUD. Maybe not for me. But eBay found a way. In my mail this morning: Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2017 17:16:22 +0200 From: eBay Global Collections <> To: Subject: FRIENDLY REMINDER: PAYMENT AND UPDATED INFO NEEDED DON???T LOSE YOUR ABILITY TO BUY, SELL AND EARN $ ON EBAY Please pay your eBay Seller fees Your eBay Seller Fees of AUD 7.40 on your auctions account are due by your invoice due date.

Sat, 10 Jun 2017 02:38:31 UTC

New eureka, at a snail's pace

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm still dragging my heels about upgrading eureka, but the clock is ticking: === grog@eureka (/dev/pts/32) ~ 11 -> df /Photos Filesystem  1048576-blocks      Used  Avail Capacity  Mounted on /dev/ada2p1      3,814,382 3,761,397 14,841   100%    /Photos How about just sucking it and see? No, bad idea. Let's get the individual subsystems working properly on eureso first. Today I did the web server, which proved to be more of an issue than I expected. For reasons that don't make very much sense, FreeBSD's Apache port puts the root of the web tree in /usr/local/www, which is on the root file system in my scheme of things.

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 01:57:13 UTC

DxO: We don't care about EXIF

Posted By Greg Lehey

It's been a month since I entered a relatively straightforward bug report against DxO Optics Pro: the program ignores Makernotes information in the EXIF data and identifies my Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4 as Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD, apparently because the focal length and aperture ranges are the same. The progress of this ticket has shown DxO from their very worst side: incompetent support personnel, incorrect diagnosis, lack of escalation procedures, and finally a response from development that completely ignores the issue: Our development team stated that since your equipment is not supported, there is nothing we can do for you at the moment.

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 01:09:13 UTC

Camera suppliers revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been quite impressed with the pricing efficiency of eGlobal, but they're not the only game in town. Another one that I hadn't investigated is DWI. Went looking today: they offer the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO for $920, while eGlobal wants $899. It wasn't until I mentioned this on the M43 Australia group that somebody pointed out that eGlobal always charge $19 (at least) shipping per item, while DWI includes it in the price. That still makes them $2 more expensive, but it doesn't have to stay that way. And it's good to have a choice. ACM only downloads articles once.

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 00:06:18 UTC

Devsummit, 16 years later

Posted By Greg Lehey

BSDCan is currently running in Ottawa, for the 14th time. Ollivier Robert and others posted photos of the developer session (Devsummit). It's been 11 years since I participated in any conference, coincidentally BSDCan. The very first devsummit wasn't at a BSD conference at all, but at the USENIX Annual Technical Conference in June 2001. I took similar photos of individuals then, with the images conveniently named after the nicks of the Times have changed, of course, and the image quality has improved enormously. But what gets me is that, after 16 years, I can recognize a majority of the players in the 2001 Dev Summit (as I spelt it at the time).

Thu, 08 Jun 2017 02:24:07 UTC

Preparing the next eureka

Posted By Greg Lehey

Another day half-heartedly configuring the next eureka. Originally I had intended to switch over today, but there's no pressure, and I would really like to be able to get it right so that future upgrades go smoothly. But then I've been saying that for over 15 years. ACM only downloads articles once. It's possible that this article has changed since being downloaded, but the only way you can find out is by looking at the original article.

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:00:00 UTC

Unlocking the Value of Device Data with AWS Greengrass.

Posted By Werner Vogels

Unlocking the value of data is a primary goal that AWS helps our customers to pursue. In recent years, an explosion of intelligent devices have created oceans of new data across many industries. We have seen that such devices can benefit greatly from the elastic resources of the cloud. This is because data gets more valuable when it can be processed together with other data. At the same time, it can be valuable to process some data right at the source where it is generated. Some applications  medical equipment, industrial machinery, and building automation are just a few  can't rely exclusively on the cloud for control, and require some form of local storage and execution.

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:30:10 UTC

No Optus

Posted By Greg Lehey

Callum Gibson is considering connecting to the Australian National Broadband Network. His current supplier of all things telecommunications is Optus, so he went looking for their offerings. What he found was not very informative: The fastest connection mentioned there was 25 Mb/s. What about the upstream speed? What about the NBN 50 Mb/s and 100 Mb/s speeds? They must be on a different page. If they are, they've done a good job hiding them. This really seems to be the only information they provide you.

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 02:57:46 UTC

eBay: 20 years, and still not there

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've had plenty of reason to complain about eBay recently, but they're delivering even more. Wikipedia tells me that they were founded on 21 September 1995, but apart from my personal gripes, I continually find indications that they don't have their act together. One thing they do do well in my experience: if you have an issue with an item you purchased, they usually solve it pretty quickly. Yesterday I finally gave up negotiating with the seller of the toy copy stand that I received last month (he wanted to give a discount, but not a refund), and asked eBay to step in.

Tue, 06 Jun 2017 02:51:39 UTC

Ashampoo backup: really broken?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Revisiting Ashampoo backup while writing yesterday's diary, it seemed strange that it should really have been that excruciatingly slow. So I tried again from the downloaded image. It uses the Microsoft install framework, and sure enough, it popped up immediately. But after selecting Install, it took 2½ minutes before anything happened. Installation took a normal enough time (about 30 seconds). Then I pressed Finish and got this window: As the appearances suggest, it wasn't ready for interaction yet. Kept an eye on it for a while.

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 01:30:48 UTC

Alternatives to Microsoft backup

Posted By Greg Lehey

Microsoft isn't the only company to supply backup software. Ashampoo, a manufacturer of ad-ware, keeps reminding me that they, too, have a backup, most recently this morning. OK, we can give it a try. The usual Microsoft installation, and then... nothing. No evidence that it had been installed at all. Tried again. This time it installed, at a snail's pace. And when I tried to run, it kept me waiting for minutes between displaying a window and accepting input. After about 5 minutes I gave up and removed it. I can't imagine that this is typical, but it certainly makes it less interesting, especially since they want money for it.

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 01:21:27 UTC

Debugging, Microsoft style

Posted By Greg Lehey

Unexpected error message on dischord today: OK, I now know about eventvwr, so off to look for the logs. I couldn't find them. Wouldn't it be nice if they had included a path name? Off to ask Google instead, and came up with this page. It's fascinating for a number of reasons: it's from Microsoft, it only shows part of the exchange, requiring another click to complete the view.

Sun, 04 Jun 2017 23:26:35 UTC

eureka upgrade

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been running a virtual machine for some time now, with the intention of making it the next eureka. Now I have received a new 8 TB disk for my photos, so I need to shut down the machine to install it. Time to upgrade? What do I need to do? At the very least update the /etc hierarchy and move everything to the alternative boot partition. Boot partition? With MBR partitioning I had two partitions, typically /dev/ad0s1a and /dev/ad0s1e, and I set the boot loader to choose one or the other. But how does that work with GPT partitioning?

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 11:09:14 UTC

New Yorkers! Ill see you tomorrow at Bookcon on the Walkaway tour (then SF, Chicago, Denver&) (!)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I just got to NYC for Bookcon, where I’m

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 04:34:40 UTC

Trump trumped by smart phone

Posted By Greg Lehey

Nobody can say that I have admiration or sympathy for Donald Trump. Until today. Unlike me, he uses smart phones to send his innumerable Tweets. But like me, it seems, he has difficulty with the appalling user interface. I'm still wondering how his keyboard managed to produce covfefe, but clearly it was an enemy act. ACM only downloads articles once.

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 03:15:24 UTC

Tidying up Microsoft disks

Posted By Greg Lehey

CJ Ellis round this afternoon for the first time in ten months. He had more problems with his computer, but this time he had taken my advice and left the computer at home after starting TeamViewer. And of course the computer had gone to sleep. CJ back home, gave his computer the boot, and I took a look. Disk full to the gunwhales. OK, there's some program somewhere, isn't there? Found it in multiple places in a now-you-see-me, now-you-don't manner. The most reliable seems to be Control Panel ’ Administrative Tools ’ Free up disk space. It went off searching, came back and told me that it could recover a whopping 70 MB, asked for an admin password, and then started off all over again.

Fri, 02 Jun 2017 02:49:38 UTC

Ports upgrade pain, yet again

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm preparing to upgrade eureka by way of eureso. Part of the process is to keep eureso up to date with the latest version of FreeBSD, currently 11.1-PRERELEASE, and upgrading ports. Keeping the base system up to date is straightforward, but we're still not there with ports. The last upgrade was two weeks ago, and I saw: The following 87 package(s) will be affected (of 0 checked): New packages to be INSTALLED: ... Installed packages to be UPGRADED: ... The process will require 27 MiB more space. 838 MiB to be downloaded.

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 01:45:40 UTC

Documenting shopping centres

Posted By Greg Lehey

Finding our way around the shopping centre in Melton got me wondering: why did we have to ask the bloke at the shoe repair stand where Woolworths was? Every shopping centre I know has one, and it should be by the entrance. And how about that, there is one there: To get a photo that good, I had to hold my phone up above my head and point down; otherwise the reflections made it unreadable, and that's probably why I missed it. Clearly a modern setup, with touch screen requiring a secret handshake.

Thu, 01 Jun 2017 00:02:02 UTC

Shopping in Melton

Posted By Greg Lehey

Today was shopping day, and just round the corner from where we inspected the lounge room furniture is a big shopping centre. It's not easy to find out the name, nor even the entrancebig Woolworths and ALDI signs are visible from a distance, but when you get closer, you discover that there's no entrance there. Here courtesy of Google Maps: We had to look at where the cars were parked to decide that the entrance was to the west. But where are the shops?