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

Postings for August 2017:  (14 posts)
Sun, 13 Aug 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Olympus TG-5 Tough Waterproof

Posted By Tim Bray

I found myself vacation-bound to Queensland (thats the top right corner of Australia) and the itinerary included beaches and coral, specifically the Great Barrier Reef, which is dying. I like to photograph the places I visit, and the Olympus TG-5 is getting lots of buzz in waterproof-cam circles, so I got one. The manual says that when its been in the ocean, you should give it a ten-minute freshwater soak. Camera geekery The Oly TG tough cameras have been underwater stalwarts for years, and the -5 differs from its predecessors notably in shooting RAW, offering 4K video, and having fewer megapixels, for better low-light sensitivity.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 22:00:00 UTC

Evidence that Go makes it easy to get up to speed

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Some recent PRs to the DNSControl Project casually mentioned that this was their first time writing Go code. That's amazing! When was the last time you saw someone say, "here's a major contribution to your open source project... oh and I just learned this language." (and the PR was really darn good!) I think it is pretty rare and one of the special things about Go. Part of Go's original vision was to make it easy for new people to join a project and make contributions. This was important internally at Google, since engineers hop projects frequently. This also benefits open source projects by making it easy to dive in and participate.

Thu, 10 Aug 2017 16:09:18 UTC

Burbank! Ill see you tonight at 7PM at the Buena Vista library

Posted By Cory Doctorow

My Walkaway book-tour is basically over, but I’m taking a little victory lap tonight at my local library, the Buena Vista Branch of the Burbank Public Library. Hope to see you there!

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 15:26:43 UTC

Walkaway is a finalist for the Dragon Awards and is #1 on Locuss hardcover bestseller list

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Dragon Con’s Dragon Award ballot was just published and I’m delighted to learn that my novel Walkaway is a finalist in the “Best Apocalyptic Novel” category, along with Daniel Humphreys’ A Place Outside the Wild, Omar El Akkad’s American War, Declan Finn and Allan Yoskowitz’s Codename: Unsub, N.K. Jemisin’s The Obelisk Gate, Rick Heinz’s The... more

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 02:57:51 UTC

Understanding mouse issues

Posted By Greg Lehey

My problems with the Logitech M705 MARATHON mouse continue despite my attempts to limit it by software. I need to look more carefully into the logic to understand how the daemon works, but two things are clear: Not everybody can suffer from these problems, or Logitech would be out of business. On the other hand, it happens with multiple mice, so it could be a software issue. The problem appears to occur when the mouse moves from one screen to another.

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 01:25:37 UTC

Raspberry pi again

Posted By Greg Lehey

My lack of success with installing NetBSD and OpenBSD got me wondering: what about Raspberry pi? I was given one a few years ago, but I never used it. Is now not the time? The FreeBSD Wiki page was noteasy to understand. It seems that I need two partitions (MBR and FreeBSD), and there are ready-made images on the FTP site, though not at the address specified on the page. But what's on the image? Do I still need hooks? Downloaded the image, which has xz compression, and copied it to the SD card: === root@eureka (/dev/pts/8) /src/FreeBSD/ISOs 133 -> xzcat FreeBSD-11.1-STABLE-arm-armv6-RPI-B-20170727-r321617.img.xz  | dd obs=64k of=/dev/da5 2097152+0 records in 16384+0 records out 1073741824 bytes transferred in 12603.412285 secs (85195 bytes/sec) 3½ hours to copy 1 MB!

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 01:17:04 UTC

Learning about photo drones

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been tempted several times to play around with photo drones, but it looks like a can of worms. My one attempt wasn't exactly successful. This article, currently the first and only part of a promised three-part series, looks helpful. 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.

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 01:05:56 UTC

Trying OpenBSD again

Posted By Greg Lehey

My experience with NetBSD was somewhat underwhelming. But how about OpenBSD? I was never a member of the OpenBSD team, and thus have used it even less. But it's worth a try, if only to compare it to NetBSD and FreeBSD. Once again a tiny image, leaving much space on a CD-ROM. The install programs don't seem to have changed since last time I looked at them, which must have been over 10 years ago. They're decidedly primitive by modern standards. At least it didn't trip over SMP. Partitioning the disk still believes in CHS geometries. It recognized the NetBSD partition, and offered to create a second partition that overlapped.

Fri, 04 Aug 2017 00:01:40 UTC

Building NetBSD

Posted By Greg Lehey

So the install image on kimchi doesn't understand something about SMP on the board, and I have to boot manually every time. Sure, I could probably find a knob to tweak to turn it off by default, but it makes more sense to bring the system up to date and be able to use SMP. So after checking out a source tree, I did a make build. Not what I expected: install ===> tools/gmake make[5]: Entering directory `/eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/tools/gmake/build' /eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/tools/gmake/../Makefile.gnuwrap:5: *** missing separator.  Stop. make[5]: Leaving directory `/eureka/home/src/NetBSD/cvs/src/tools/gmake/build' *** Error code 2 Stop.

Thu, 03 Aug 2017 02:04:56 UTC

Audio equipment and pumps

Posted By Greg Lehey

I got the timing of my physiotherapy appointment wrong and left an hour early. What to do? Started to turn around, and then decided to do a bit of looking round Ballarat. Not a good idea. Went to The Good Guys and JB Hi-Fi again looking for cheap amplifiers, maybe special offers, but there was nothing at all at The Good Guys, and JB Hi-Fi still didn't have anything below $300. Why are these things so expensive? At The Good Guys I found some cheap Mini Hi-Fi units for round $100, including CD player and loudspeakers, and some even had RCA sockets.

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 23:21:51 UTC


Posted By Greg Lehey

So once again I have a NetBSD,, currently with two issues: despite installing MySQL, I can't find the header files needed to build my weather station software software, and it hangs on boot unless I disable SMP. Decided to address the second problem first. Where do I get the system sources? There's a program called sysbuild that I hadn't heard of before, but it's not overly convincing: === root@kimchi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 15 -> sysbuild sysbuild: E: No command specified Type 'man sysbuild' for help === root@kimchi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 16 -> man sysbuild man: no entry for sysbuild in the manual.

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 00:31:12 UTC

A use for mouse button 9

Posted By Greg Lehey

Quite frequently I need to reformat paragraphs in my diary. Simple: position somewhere in the paragraph, and execute the Emacs function fill-paragraph. But when you do that 100 times, it becomes tedious: Move to the next paragraph, maybe with the mouse. If with the mouse, click. Press M-q, which executes fill-paragraph. Clearly something to automate, so I wrote this little function and bound it to mouse button 9: (defun mouse-select-and-justify ()   (interactive)   (mouse-set-point)   (recenter)   (fill-paragraph) ) But it doesn't work.

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 00:18:23 UTC

NetBSD revisited

Posted By Greg Lehey

I can't corner my USB problems with FreeBSD, so how about a different BSD? It's been some time since I ran NetBSD, but my recollection was that the USB stack is more mature. So downloaded an ISO, all 390 MB of it, and installed. It hung on boot! But it had a couple of unexpected boot options: boot without ACPI, boot without ACPI and SMP. When I disabled both, it ran fine. The installation doesn't seem to have changed much in the last 15 years, but the package system has. Still, it was close enough to the FreeBSD version that I was able to install my base packages without any issues.

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 00:03:46 UTC

Ease of installation and debug symbols

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've been writing software for FreeBSD for well over 20 years now, and the time shows. The simplistic attitude we had in those days no longer suits modern times. A case in point: my modifications to moused. I wanted to run it under a debugger, but how do I generate executables with debugging symbols? Simple, it's the -g flag to gcc clang. But how do I set it? The canonical method is via CFLAGS. But that's created deep in the bowels of the Make system. OK, RTFM. But there's nothing there about creating debug executables. OK, UTSL. Nothing in /usr/src/Makefile about it, just this: # For individuals wanting to upgrade their sources (even if only a # delta of a few days): # #  1.