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Postings for December 2023:  (13 posts)
Tue, 05 Dec 2023 02:00:40 UTC

xterm and TrueType?

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of the things on my list for hydra is getting xterm to work with TrueType fonts. I've found lots of web pages addressing the topic, but somehow they all seem to miss my point. OK, try it out. I have a directory /usr/local/share/fonts/TTF with file names like luxirr.ttf and luximri.ttf, which I guess to be Roman and monospace roman italic. Try it out: === grog@hydra (/dev/pts/57) /usr/local/share/fonts/TTF 21 -> xterm -fa luximr It works! Well, sort of. Here the comparison between the current xterm and what I get from luxi: What a mess!

Tue, 05 Dec 2023 00:29:12 UTC

Another monitor dropout

Posted By Greg Lehey

Another dropout on my ?Matrix? monitor this morning. This time I got to the power button in time, and yes, it came back. But clearly there's more to it than the power button: the sounds that I mentioned happen every time it displays after blanking, and I would have noticed them if they had happened earlier. So potentially there's another replacement monitor to be expected.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 23:41:34 UTC

Scan or photo?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Scanning the spice paste sachet was fairly straightforward. But the results were less than spectacular, so I tried again with my camera (second image): I hadn't expected that. And somehow, given my current work flow, it's easier to take a photo.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 23:40:18 UTC

Mystery paste

Posted By Greg Lehey

Last time I was in town I bought a bag of ingredients for Kung Pao chicken, a little too hastily. Firstly, I have no idea what that is, beyond the belief that it's something that's cooked in the USA, and secondly this was definitely not from the USA: Yes, there's something in English stuck on the back, but nothing that gives the slightest idea of how to prepare it. I need a translation.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 17:59:35 UTC

Don?t Be Evil

Posted By Cory Doctorow

This week on my podcast, I read my Locus Magazine column “Don’t Be Evil,” about the microeconomics and moral injury of enshittification. It?s tempting to think of the Great Enshittening ? in which all the inter­net services we enjoyed and came to rely upon became suddenly and irreversibly terrible ? as the result of moral... more

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 00:59:16 UTC

Chasing down the Emacs bug

Posted By Greg Lehey

So the only big problem with X on hydra seems to be the Emacs Multi_key problem. I've established that it's related to the version of Emacs installed on hydra. OK, how about building from source? It takes a while, but at the least it could help me find what option might cause it. OK, ?make all?. Turned to other tasks and looked at the screen a few minutes later. Stopped. What went wrong there? As far as I can see, nothing. hydra had built the entire Emacs port on 220 seconds! And for some reason I didn't need to build any dependencies.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 00:50:41 UTC

Australia Post: How did we do?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from Australia Post today: ?How was your recent delivery??. Ah, a chance to say what I thought. Or at least, that's what they said. It took several minutes before their web site responded, not once, but twice. But finally it did. Ease of collection: 0. Why? Oh, they didn't want to know that, though I had had a chance to enter some text earlier on. Try again? Sure, and this time I was able to enter the reference to my rant. Why hadn't they noticed that I had already answered? Race condition, it seems. Much later I tried again, and got the message that I had already responded.

Sun, 03 Dec 2023 00:40:44 UTC

CAPTCHA: How to chase away customers

Posted By Greg Lehey

A lot of the useful web pages recently have come from Stackexchange. Sounds like a good idea to sign up with them. Oh. Are you a bot? Please look at this CAPTCHA and tell me which of the images contains a crosswalk. No, stackexchange, I'm not a bot. I'm also not a US American, so I'm not really sure what a ?crosswalk? is. But I am sure that I find it insulting. So what if 100 bots sign up for stackexchange? There are other, less obtrusive ways to deal with them (rate limiting, for example). So I haven't signed up. I've been ranting about CAPTCHAs for nearly 15 years, and I still don't know why people use them.

Sat, 02 Dec 2023 02:50:15 UTC

What use ChatGPT?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Everybody's talking about ChatGPT as if it were taking over the world. But what I see is a very poor solution for the Turing Test. Quora uses it for some answers. I don't know why. Sometimes they're correct, usually stodgily written, and frequently amazingly incorrect. Here a couple over the last few days: When it is 12:00 am at Greenwich, the local time of one place is 8:00 pm. What is the longitude of that place? ChatGPT: The longitude of a place can be calculated based on the difference between the local time and the time at the Prime Meridian (0° longitude) at Greenwich, UK.

Sat, 02 Dec 2023 02:02:02 UTC

hydra: tidy up?

Posted By Greg Lehey

So gradually my problems with X on hydra are resolving themselves. Time for another one to crop up: Xcompose. While doing normal work, tried to enter a composed character (something like ö). Instead I got ¨o, the characters entered. Bad keyboard mapping? No, the same key (marked Compose) on each keyboard was mapped to Multi_Key. More investigation. Do I need additional settings? Checked when ~/.XCompose was referenced. Yes, when I start an xterm. But not when I start an Emacs. OK, try to hunt this down. What happens if I get an Emacs running on eureka to open a window on hydra?

Sat, 02 Dec 2023 01:14:42 UTC

Continued hydra pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

So where am I now with X on hydra? I still don't get the correct Alt key bindings. Yesterday I concluded that it's probably an xterm issue, not a bash issue, and found a couple of ways to compare settings. So I started with that today. editres. Followed the instructions on this page, but they didn't work. Select ?Get tree? and I only got a message "message sent to client asking for widget tree". It seems that the client wasn't interested. xrdb -query. That worked, and the man page suggests that I can get even more information with the additional -all option.

Fri, 01 Dec 2023 01:30:27 UTC

Which 8 TB SSDs?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Spent a little more time looking round for 8 TB SSDs. There's precious little choice: only the Sansung 870 QVO. Scorptec, Umart, Mwave offer it for $899. Megabuy has it for only $886.88, though it's not clear whether that's the cheapest, since all are too polite to mention shipping charges. That makes it almost worthwhile, except that I'd really prefer a 12 TB drive. But I think the days of spinning rust are over. Should I wait until the current drive shows more problems, or should I bite the bullet?

Fri, 01 Dec 2023 00:47:59 UTC

hydra: cutover?

Posted By Greg Lehey

So: what do I need to do to cut over the X display from eureka to hydra? In principle the only outstanding issue is that I still can't use the Alt key with bash. But that can be fixed later. OK, move to the left. It's amazingly uncomfortable. Yes, I knew that it was only a temporary arrangement, but I was surprised how uncomfortable it is. Different screen heights, drawers in front of the left end of the displays, a mouse with a cord! That, too, I had forgotten. OK, back to check the Alt key issue. When I first fixed it on eureka, I noted two things: set the values in ~/.Xdefaults and add some entries to inputrc.