Welcome to MekTrix 4.0

Aka Shish’s Place of Stuff

Archive for June, 2007

Debconf Photos

The hostel we were in first seemed to be falling apart (where it had been built in the first place) — note chicken wire instead of railings :-/ Also, being in the furthest possible room (all the way along the hall, fifth floor) was argh. And their breakfasts sucked too.

In comparison, the teviot building was awesome. It has space toilets, nice halls. There was a strange thing in the attic.

Teviot is also awesome as a student building. It has 4 bars, and a nightclub which plays lovely music (with cute advertising :3). Even the toilet graffiti was more interesting than I’ve seen anywhere else. They also have an arcade.

Also, I went up a mountain.

The edinburgh bike shop is notable for posters and banana holders.

Yes, this exists.

The night venue was quite nice, and had an organ.

The sever room was predictably messy.

It rained quite a lot.

Google-sponsored pizza :3

People on a floor


Posted June 26th, 2007 by Shish, in event, pimp, reallife

Debconf 7.3: Updates

Things have been busy, and I’ve been lacking network access for much of it…

Debconf itself started a couple of days ago, talks so far have been interesting, and those I’ve missed should have been videoed (over my cables ^_^). Much pizza has been eaten (haggis pizza exists :3). Also I needed a walk, so I went up arthur’s seat, a large hill / small mountain (250.5m) in the middle of the city.

Also, this uni is full of awesome ;___; Their student building has an arcade, a nice bar, a club which plays lovely musics; even the graffiti in the toilets is awesome (pictures pending upload).

In other news, I was a fool, and was fiddling with network settings on my desktop, while having no physical access — and because I’d left most of it still configured for UKC, when I rebooted, it dropped off the net. After another reboot and some tcpdumping, I figured that it was trying to be online, as, on a lan. Thus I changed the router’s IP to .50.2, logged in, started a screen with “sleep 30s && dhclient eth0”, then logged out and reset the router to .1.1 \o/ (The actual story had more argh with things getting disconnected at odd times, but I forget the details).

Also of note is the reason behind network fiddling, which is strangely similar to the power cycling story from the jargon file — I put the route config together such that it looked vaguely right, applied the rules, and bricked the box. I then look at the config, work it out carefully, understand exactly what’s going on, reapply the rules, and it works perfectly ._.

Posted June 20th, 2007 by Shish, in reallife

Debconf 7.2: Cable Monkey

First day, waking up at 5am, I spent much time packing cables, and failing to sleep.

Eventually, everyone else woke up, and we went for breakfast — the hostel only does “continental breakfast”, which is apparently a slice of toast and a cup of tea :-/

Then to the main venue, where we spent much time wandering and deciding what was to go where, and I crimped my first ethernet cable ^_^ And then several more, and the novelty wore off. I also learned about fire safety laws, and that it’s really hard to cover a historic building with cables~

Posted June 10th, 2007 by Shish, in event, pimp, reallife

Debconf 7.1: Travel

Travelling with each of us having our own body weight in computing gear was surprisingly smooth; starting from the first station where one of the station-dudes put up a ramp, and phoned ahead to the next station, it chained, until the second to last station, which had huge sets of stairs and no elevator /o\

Also on the train, I noted a teenage / very early 20s couple, with PSP in one hand and baby in the other, which made me ponder modern society D:

Much of the train time was spent attempting to sleep (having gone ~48 hours with only two 3-hour naps), and otherwise resting. Some of that was spent listening to the limited amount of music on my phone, which wouldn’t be noteworthy, except for the irony* of listening to “The Sound of Silence” right before “Halo”…

(* sentance may not contain actual irony)

Posted June 10th, 2007 by Shish, in event, pimp, reallife

Monty <3

19:57 >>> Mithrandir has joined #cs
19:57 [Monty] Thank goodness, Mithrandir is back!
21:52 [Shish] Monty: why do you never greet me? D:
21:52 [Monty] classics
21:53 [Shish] Monty: you only greet old timers? fair enough...
21:53 [Monty] apache/php job
21:53 [Shish] Monty: get it away from me!
21:53 [Monty] ffs
21:53 [Shish] Monty: no offence, your job offers are appreciated, I just
              react that way to php...
21:53 [Monty] nobody seems that size screw i hate cb302
21:54 [Shish] Monty: I suppose cb302 could be described as a screw, and
              I didn't like it either :S
21:54 [Monty] yay!
21:55 * Shish huggles monty for being better at the turing test than
              several people he knows...
21:55 [Monty] <3
21:55 [Shish] <3

Posted June 5th, 2007 by Shish, in pimp, software

Auto-login & desktop setup

In further automation, I tired of logging in and opening and resizing xterms, so taking bits from the mythtv wiki, I set up my desktop to automatically log me in and start all my usual programs. Of particular note is xterm’s “geometry” option, which allows you to set the position and size from the command line. Also useful is the “class” option, so that those of us with awesome window managers (enlightenment) can set them to remember position / stacking layer / border style / etc, and assign the remembered values to windows with set classes. For example, whenever I start a window with class “xterm_starter” (ie, by running “xterm -class xterm_starter”), enlightenment will notice it, shrink it, and move it to the corner of my screen, ready to start things from~

Posted June 1st, 2007 by Shish, in pimp, software, tech


Part one of some notes on automation:

Having tired of keeping ~20 shell accounts up to date with my preferred settings, I made a script to do it. Snippets which other people may find useful are:

Only doing things if an app is installed:

is_installed() {
    if type -p $1 > /dev/null ; then
        return 0
        return 1

if is_installed mplayer ; then
    ... do mplayer specific things ...

Outputting large amounts of text from the script into the config file:

cat > ~/.vimrc <<EOD
syntax enable
set autoindent
set autowrite
set nocompatible    " Use Vim defaults instead of 100% vi compatibility
set backspace=indent,eol,start  " more powerful backspacing
set ruler
set foldmethod=marker
if v:version >= 700
    set spelllang=en_gb
    set spellfile=~/.vimspell.en_gb.add
    set spellfile=~/.vimspell.add

cat > ~/.inputrc <<EOD
"\e[A": history-search-backward
"\e[B": history-search-forward

set completion-ignore-case On
#set editing-mode vi
set mark-symlinked-directories On

cat > ~/.bash_logout <<EOD

if [ "\$SHLVL" = 1 ]; then
    [ -x /usr/bin/clear_console ] && /usr/bin/clear_console -q
chmod +x ~/.bash_logout

Now using those, I have all my important settings stored in one shell script. In order to push settings to another host, I can run “cat slek2.sh | ssh user@host.com”, which doesn’t even create any temporary files on the other side of the connection \o/

(Note: the post title, and the script, are called “slek”, which was originally a typo on “skel”, but then got made into “shish’s linux enhancement kit”. Though it’s also tested and working fine on solaris…)

Posted June 1st, 2007 by Shish, in pimp, software, tech