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Archive for the 'reallife' Category

Belgium \o/

Yay for taking a week to write up…

1400) Arrive at Kitty’s house, find nobody there. After much wandering round looking, she comes cycling into the garden — the T-Shirt printing company, who’d been told to get some done by that morning, had decided that they couldn’t start until they had a signature; and they hadn’t told her about this until she phoned up to check that they were done…
1600) T-Shirts finally printed, we run for the train, and get to the platform just as it leaves
1615) Next train, off to Ashford International~
1700) Having passed customs and such, the Eurostar leaves. Much training happens.
2000) We arrive at the hotel. They seem to have a thing about a pissing boy
2100) We went to the LeRoy for supper. Being Belgium, who’s languages are French and Dutch (not Belgian, as I had always thought…), wfk ordered in Dutch, Mike ordered in French, and the rest of us in English, though Kitty was in the habit of saying “Danke schon” a lot… I had the only things I recognised, meatballs in tomato sauce. These were, by far, the best meatballs I’ve ever had — I ended up stopping after each bite to wait a few seconds just savouring the taste… For pudding we had Dame Noire; chocolate icecream with chocolate bits covered in cream covered in chocolate sauce; which was also nice. We then had much misc beer, and I can’t remember what we talked about (Except gezpacho soup :P).

1100) Go for tea in some random place, decide where to go. We found a guide full of much pisstaking, and followed it to…
1200) The Atomium. Belgium’s equivalent of the Eifel tower, apparently; it’s made out of several huge metal spheres making a model of an atom. It was in a state of being rebuilt while we were there though :| We saw a video of how it was built originally in the 60s, with the workers having absolutely no safety equipment. Those guys must have had balls of steel to build that place… It also had fridges and a nice view.
1530) Siesta
1730) Back to LeRoy for drinking. Here is where I first met Tolman(sp?), one of Kitty’s belgian friends.
1800) We decide that seeing as there’s nowhere to sit in LeRoy (this was “the FOSDEM beer event”, and it was totally packed), we’ll go elsewhere. We try and take several random people with us, but the only one who manages is Mike, who gets a cute girl~ We then go for pizza and more talking.
1900) Back to LeRoy, it’s still full, so we go to another pub /o/ Tolman introduces me to a beer called Gueuze, which is lovely. Unlike the english beers, it tastes nice *and* has alcohol :O People shuffle around, and I end up next to Bettina, a nice German girl who’s living in Belgium, and is only here because her FOSDEM-attending friend needed a place to crash. Apparently I spoke more to her than to everyone else all weekend put together, but I didn’t notice. Possibly drunk.
2200) Bettina suggests going elsewhere; we get outside and ponder home vs a bar with more music; most people go with the first, as I would have done, had Mike not pushed me towards the latter… I am most thankful for that, as that evening with Bettina was most entertaining ^_^
2500) I get Home. wfk and Kitty collaborate to tell me the history of unix as a bedtime story <3 Saturday: 1000) Wake, metro, bus. Trying to navigate the crowds at the uni was hard…
1100) Arrive mid way through the OLPC talk
1400) I go to an Xorg talk, which seemed interesting, but my student instincts of “I’m in a lecture theatre, must be bedtime” took over :(
1500) An AIGLX talk; the guy from Red Hat got a round of applause when his laptop managed to boot, after 15 minutes :P
1600) Linux Kernel talk with Andrew Morton
1800) Home
1900) Dinner at some random place with random people

1100) Debian internals
1300) CACert signing
1500) Secure jabber
1600) Debian auto-install
1700) A talk on the GPLv3 from some FSF guy; I found it terrifying. The speaker was young, had a german accent, with a crew cut, and was talking about how the enemy were weak and now is the time to crush them. Much spreading of blatantly biased propoganda was done…
1800) Dinner with just our group
1900) We go to the bar opposite the real-life mannequin-pis
2200) Be very drunk. Most of what was discussed in that pub will stay in that pub. Inspector Gadget was played on the radio, in French… There was much talking of war and geography too. Once we were quite drunk, 3 of the group started trying to work out how to get in bed with a girl at the bar who didn’t speak english… Once we got out, Mike gave me a fireman’s lift down the street~
2300) To bed, for misc drunken chatter.

1000) Mike had a hangover, but everyone else was OK, which isn’t what I would have predicted…
1100) Train back to England; much like thursday morning in reverse. I arrived home knackered, with an hour to go before an exam \o/

Posted March 4th, 2007 by Shish, in event, pimp, reallife

Argh no phone :(

Something seems to be screwy with my SIM card — with it in, the phone freezes at the boot logo; with it out, it gets to the desktop, and I can access the service menu, but trying to do anything useful gets an “insert SIM card” message :(

It’s suddenly occurred to me that I no longer have an alarm clock, a mobile calendar, a to-do list, a camera, a notebook, a mobile IRC client, or a games thing to pass the time in lectures. Not being able to communicate by phone or SMS is also a problem, but not the first thing that comes to mind…

Posted February 18th, 2007 by Shish, in reallife

Geek Sleepover~

2pm) Breakfast at the Corner Cafe. I was under the impression that breakfast came before work, whereas other people had been up since 10…

3pm) Garden work; I spent ~3 hours digging a trench. After I let go of the hoe, I stretched my fingers out, and was able to feel the layers of skin separating — I now have some nasty looking blisters…

5pm) Barbecue; much eating of meat was done, and much setting things alight. Notably: bricks, plates, and petrol. Tea lights were also thrown into the fire — the wax boiled pretty quickly, and then the aluminium melted into the ash… Also of note: the ash from yesterday’s fire was still hot enough that Mike was able to start today’s fire without matches \o/

Sometime between these two, I bet Mike a pint that it was Fahrenheit 451, not 423, and won \o/

11pm) Sharing tales of complaint letters; Mike, Kitty, and Wfk are really not the sort of customers one wants to be on the wrong side of…

1am) Misc geekery: Tales from the jargon file, and sharing of things that are sick and wrong; like storing 16 bytes of data in 8 bytes of memory, and “#define f(x) (x)++ – (x)++ ; a = 5; b = f(a)”. I think it says something that pretty much all of these horrible hacks came from C…

5am) Bed

12pm) Awake. Mike asked me what you stick a golf ball on, and I answered v_v Then to The Goods Shed for locally produced meats, and to claim my pint~

12:30pm) Fryup for breakfast~

1pm) More gardening… Some slabs got laid, more trench was dug, and a bouncy ball was found \o/ Although the others then proceeded to one-up me by finding a small, unidentified body… Having finished, Mike asked me what the original Star Trek captain’s middle inital was, and again, I answered v_v

5pm) Mid-term meal; traditional roast dinner. Yay for beefs~

11pm) Home~

During this time, I also spent pretty much every spare minute voluntarily washing up or hoovering; there is something very, very wrong when a teenage male student nerd walks into a house and says “dear god, this place needs cleaning…”

Posted February 18th, 2007 by Shish, in reallife

KLUG Stuffs

3 meets, none blogged :O For background: KLUG is the kent linux user’s group; a bunch of linux users who meet to talk about random things, and occasionally do something productive together.

Firstly: A brief social meet in The Old Bev, just down the road. Drinking was done, penguins were hugged, and talk was mostly about jobs in the industry~

Then: The day after was a more official meet, in Dover, in the port’s immigration office. People actually brought computers to this one. Mostly talk was admin stuff, about what the LUG should be doing, how to be doing it, events we should travel to or run for ourselves, etc. There were also lightning talks; Mike did beer related analogies for various types of routing, a guy I don’t know talked about working in a school, and Kitty did a very brief overview of the history of computing~

After the dover meet Mike, Kitty, Allen, and myself went to a local town for food and beer. On the way we also stopped off at The Bunker, a datacenter built inside an old RAF base. It seemed pretty deserted on the surface, except for the security guard + dog who appeared once we started poking about…

Recently: The Maidstone meet. Which was a lot like the Canterbury meet, except that we managed to get kicked out of two pubs in one evening… First was the society rooms(?), where we were told we weren’t even allowed on the site without proof of age (and not any proof of age — it had to be specifically a driver’s licence or passport); then we moved to the druid’s arms for pizza and beer. The meet carried on there quite happily for a couple of hours, until Kitty got fed up enough with people leaving the fire exit open (letting the cold in) that she slammed the door and exaggerated one of the cracks in the window… By that time most people were ready to leave anyway, so they did. A couple of us went to KFC while waiting for the train back, had one last conversation, then went our separate ways~

Posted February 10th, 2007 by Shish, in pimp, reallife


Kitty’s Garden is progressing nicely; much digging of holes and burning of dead trees~ Attempts to cook with fire mostly failed though :(

I spent most of the afternoon digging through mud to get at bits of trees, then pulling up bits of trees to get at concrete slabs…

Posted February 6th, 2007 by Shish, in reallife


Went swimming for the first time in several years, managed 512m \o\ Goggles definately help; 12 lengths without were painful even with a rest at each end, 4 lengths with were fine~

Posted January 31st, 2007 by Shish, in reallife

On Servers

Chai (router) and Aru (server) are being turned off for the first time in 4 months; chai is retiring for now, aru is becoming a router + xen server. It’s pretty much the same setup as I’ve done in school — one upstream network, two downstream; serving DHCP on the two downstreams using dnsmasq. VPSes are bridged to one or more networks depending on who needs access to them.

The school’s moodle install has been moved to a VPS at context shift, since dreamhost were complaining that we were using too much CPU time. That seems to have gone mostly OK, except for me not knowing how to configure Apache + PHP to deal with more load than the server can handle (Lowering MaxClients seems to have solved the swappy death problem — now if the server gets more requests than it can handle it queues them, rather than trying to do everything at once)

Update: FastCGI’ed PHP seems to ignore MaxClients. Sigh.

Posted January 4th, 2007 by Shish, in pimp, reallife, site, tech

New Year’s Balance

My new year’s party balanced out my christmas — all my friends who had said that they’d come round decided they’d rather be off doing family things, but none of them told me that they weren’t coming until I double checked at the last minute. Having no time to organise anything else, I ended up alone while everyone else was partying :(

ED> Not karma per se

Posted January 2nd, 2007 by Shish, in personal, reallife

Shish Kebab

I have had a shish kebab, for the first time ever. Not particularly exciting, I know, but I thought I’d note it anyway, for historical reasons…

Posted December 13th, 2006 by Shish, in reallife

Sleep cycle fail >_<

I’ve now gone 4 days without seeing daylight, having slept through the short amount of time the sun is up. In other things that I’ve slept through today: two assessment deadlines, and a promise to help a friend shift some stuff around town >_<

Posted December 12th, 2006 by Shish, in rage, reallife