kerravonsen: (fractal2)
Context: my desktop computer died just before Christmas (fortunately I had backups). When I got back from visiting family, I ordered a new computer, and it arrived and it is pretty.
beware, there is computer geeky stuff here )
kerravonsen: Sydney with VR glasses on: "Lost in cyberspace" (lost-in-cyberspace)
I enjoyed this episode, it was action-packed, clever, with character stuff too.

Unfortunately, something about the plot-logic has been bothering me, something that most people wouldn't notice at all, but, alas, it is my profession. Something to do with the computer programming. Mind you, the writers get double kudos for (a) avoiding Obvious Computer Fail, which very few shows do, and (b) making the computer stuff something that bugged me afterwards, rather than during. So I'm not exactly complaining... it's just a puzzle that I needed to work out.
spoilers SPOILERS and possibly TMI )
kerravonsen: Crafty: a medly of beads (craft)
I did not expect to do this. I did not expect to spend all day doing this. But I have done it.

I have a new setup for my craft gallery. With an RSS feed. Which is now feeded on Dreamwidth. [syndicated profile] katspace_craft_feed

Now every time I update my craft gallery, it will update the feed!

I suppose all that work was pointless, though, because people won't pay any attention unless I actually make a post here in my journal. But it's so much easier for me if there's a feed! I don't have to cut and paste links!

Well, anyway, I did it.
kerravonsen: Susan aiming bow and arrows: "Sharp Mind" (Susan)
Ah, Padawan, there you are. Been programming you have? Listen to me you will.

1. He who thinks he will never make a mistake is a fool.
10. The art is not just in avoiding mistakes, but in knowing how to fix them.
11. All mistakes are stupid mistakes. Get over it.
100. Your eyes see what they expect to see. If you cannot find the cause of a problem, fresh eyes can see what you do not. It is not that the other person is cleverer, it is just that they did not have expectations to blind them. You can render them similar assistance in return.
101. Do not be afraid to state the obvious; it is the best way to avoid erroneous assumptions. Precision in communication is more important than trying to save face.
110. If you don't have time to do it right, you don't have time to do it. Do not let your superiors convince you otherwise. There is a reason why hasty solutions are called "quick and dirty".
111. Temporary solutions tend to become permanent ones. Keep this in mind when you are tempted to do a crap job "because it's only temporary".
1000. He who says he will come back later to document his code is lying to himself.
1001. If you cannot reproduce the problem, you cannot fix the problem: any solution you produce is just wild flailing and guesswork, because you cannot check whether the symptoms have vanished.
1010. In your haste to implement a solution, do not forget that the "why" comes before the "what".
kerravonsen: Simon Illyan: "It's nearly a prosthetic memory, Miles. I'm thinking of chaining it to my belt." (prosthetic-memory)
Of late, I've been looking for alternatives to DropBox for automatic file syncing across multiple computers; for syncing between my laptops and my desktops (yes, I am a geek: I have four computers(*))
I didn't even bother trying out DropBox, because I don't want to put my data in the hands of a third party, not when I could run a server myself. It's not even primarily whether I can trust the third party, though that is a factor. It's that third parties tend to vanish, and there goes one's data.
so what are these alternatives? )
kerravonsen: (Default)
You see the following error message:

ssh_exchange_identification: Connection closed by remote host

... and for a moment you think "Hey, why isn't that 'sshg_exchange_identification'?"
kerravonsen: "Are you challenging my ingenuity?" (ingenuity)
Because I wanted a better way of organizing my links collection, I joined Pinboard this year... and then I discovered Shaarli, a web application which allows one to organize and tag bookmarks on one's own web server. So I installed that on my site links page and haven't looked back; I love it.

But that left me with a Pinboard account I wasn't using, because all my general bookmarks were being organized with Shaarli on my own site.
So I decided to dedicate my Pinboard account to fanfic links instead, because that's how a lot of people use theirs. So go to to see!

This collection of links is NOT the same as for my Net-Fic Reviews. They overlap, but they aren't exactly the same.
explain the difference between my Net-Fic reviews and my Pinboard links collection )

So there you have it. I hope people find my Pinboard fanfic links collection useful.
kerravonsen: animated sequence of geeks with the word "geek" around them (geek-anim)
I did not do the things today that I intended to do. I did not do my washing (though I did pack and run the dishwasher). I did not write fic. I did not watch Doctor Who. Instead, I updated tags and character-lists in my netfic-reviews database, investigated bookmarking software and firefox plugins, set up a WebDAV server to sync my bookmarks to, and reorganized my bookmarks. I did stuff, but none of it was important stuff. (sigh)

Why do I procrastinate?
kerravonsen: 9th Doctor wearing his headlamp: Technical wizard (technical-wiz)
I had intended to go to bed early tonight, like even 9pm or something. But then my webserver wouldn't reboot.
cut for technical stuff that half my flist don't care about, and a small portion do )
I suppose some days it pays to be a geek.

But all that "excitement" means that I'm getting to bed late instead of early. (sigh)
kerravonsen: Vila, worried, Avon, both looking off to the right: "We're lost, aren't we?" (lost)
The phrase "intuitive interface" is misleading. What it really should be is "predictable interface" two terms: "customary interface" and "discoverable interface".
kerravonsen: Sydney with VR glasses on: "Lost in cyberspace" (lost-in-cyberspace)
I was wondering why I wasn't getting any email today... so I finally checked the logs on my mail server, and it looks like the spam-blocking service on has gone crazy; it looks as if it's been blocking everything. So if you sent me any email today, please send it again.
kerravonsen: Romana with hand on chin: *sigh* (sigh)
I hate blood tests. My arm hurts. And I need both arms to do computery stuff.

In other news, why is it that computer application themes (such as GTK+ and Firefox themes) come in only three flavours:
- bland
- garish
- black
Can't someone invent a tasteful, interesting theme that isn't black?

You people were right when you said you'd comment less, weren't you?
(iz sad)
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor's legs sticking out from underneath TARDIS console: "tea, tools, Tinkering" (tinkering)
I've been trying out the Google Chrome browser, because Firefox is a resource hog.
Verdict: very very close, but no cigar.
It is fast, it is lean, it is pretty. Why, then, am I leaving it cigarless?
there are reasons, my Precious )
Perhaps I might have been willing to put up with one of these defects, but not all of them. I'm not ruling out Chrome completely, but I shall wait until it improves.

Maybe I should check out Opera.

Edit: (one hour later) Tried out Opera. Bah! It was worse than Firefox. It drove me nuts. I'd click on a link and randomly Opera would decide to sit there and think and chew up 100% of the CPU before it would give me the page in question. and more complaints )
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor's legs sticking out from underneath TARDIS console: "tea, tools, Tinkering" (tinkering)
I have gotten impatient with waiting for everything to be perfect with the changeover of my site from a hybrid static-plus-PmWiki site over to everything being under ikiwiki, so I've changed it over now. I don't think anything major is missing, but if things are missing or strange, do let me know.
The new site should run a lot faster (slower to update, faster to display).

And the Updates mailing list is up and running again too, so if you want to be notified of updates to my site, do subscribe to it. All the old subscriber info got lost when my mailing lists got wiped last year, so any interested people will need to re-subscribe (yes, [ profile] astrogirl2, this means you).

I've decided to remove the list-topics because the updates aren't all that often, and it's hard to remember what all the different topics are.
kerravonsen: galaxy: "Behold, it was very good" (behold-good)
New Year's Eve: God sent his own fireworks. Well, I think lightning is more exciting than fireworks, and we could do with the rain.
I've been standing in the dark by a partly open window, enjoying the show and the wind.

If you've noticed I haven't been around, well, I'm sitting in a spoiler-proof bunker because I still haven't watched Doctor Who yet. Tomorrow. It better be tomorrow.
And part of my busy-ness is that I'm converting my website over to IkiWiki. And it's taking a long time. I discovered to my amazement that there are over 5000 (five thousand) pages on my site!

find htdocs -name '*.html' | wc -l (for those geekily inclined)

And there are lots of PmWiki smarts to write IkiWiki plugins for. And some things don't work quite as well, and other things work better; swings and roundabouts, as they say.
Read more... )
But for now, I think I'll go back and stand by the window again.
kerravonsen: tea, nuts and noodle soup (Food)
And slices of delicious Ham...

I have discovered Two Things today:
1) Cherry pitters Actually Work!
2) Ham with cherries is Delicious. Maybe those turkey-with-cranberries people aren't crazy after all.

In other news, I have been setting up my new eeeeeeeeeeePC, which I bought on Friday because my old original eeeeeeeeePC (now two years old) is having trouble with its power connection. I didn't want to risk having a dead machine which I couldn't charge or use, so I thought it better to get a new machine ASAP. Which meant that I did not get the machine I wanted(*), nor the cheapest machine, I just got the nearest, cheapest one that was in stock.

So, what did I get? I got an eeePC 1001HA, which means that it has a 10" screen which means it will no longer slip into my jacket pocket (frown), and a 160G hard drive, which means I can put everything I want on it (smile). It is a little heavier than my old one, but I can still hold it in one hand, which is the important thing.

(*) I wanted a 900-series eeePC, but you can't seem to get them for love or money any more. I think ASUS are phasing them out.
kerravonsen: animated sequence of geeks with the word "geek" around them (geek-anim)
Well, I have been geeky; I've changed over my web server from apache-mpm-prefork to apache-mpm-worker (with FCGI+PHP)! Well, I did it on my laptop first, earlier this week, as a trial run to see if it would work, and so I knew what I needed to do on my server. For those of you who are totally confused... um... I changed the way my webserver runs.

Why? Because:
a) mpm-worker is faster and takes up less memory (tech: because it's threaded)
b) but then PHP (which is what runs part of my website) had to be reconfigured to work with mpm-worker (tech: mod_php is not thread-safe, but php can be used in CGI mode with FastCGI (mod_fcgid), and it thus runs as fast as it did before)
c) A happy side-effect of PHP + FCGI is that it can be configured to... um... behave nicer with files (tech: one can enable suexec with PHP, which means I don't have to mess with file permissions and file ownership to get my wiki to behave - SQUEE!)

Looking at my server, it does appear to be using less memory (it's gone down from 53% to 42%, yay!).

I found the following two How-Tos very useful: Installing Apache2 and PHP5 using mod_fcgid and How to set up Apache2 with mod_fcgi and PHP5 on Ubuntu.
kerravonsen: Eighth Doctor's legs sticking out from underneath TARDIS console: "tea, tools, Tinkering" (tinkering)
I'm beginning to think that it isn't worth the effort of mirroring at; because it is too large, and, alas, not a straightforward case of just doing an rsync, because (a) part of the site is a wiki and (b) I can't seem to get the wiki working on I have tried a few different approaches, and they all failed in various ways.

Note that part of the difficulty is that is running on Apache, and is running on Zeus.
cut for geeky details )
All of these approaches highlight why I decided to host my website on my own system in the first place; it is just too difficult to do advanced things with the Zeus webserver. Oh, I can understand why they use it; it is very fast, and very good at serving simple sites. But utterly useless if one wishes to manipulate URLs to make them more friendly.

So what should I do with I'd like to do something with it. Because it is a much faster and more reliable system than my own. I mean, I get power failures at home while I'm at work and then all of is down for hours and there's nothing I can do about it. Should I mirror a subset of on Such as the gallery, which would probably benefit from having a faster server. Should I make a whole different site? Take some of the stuff that's on off it and put it solely on (Such as the gallery, again)

What do you think?

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