Mon, 01 Aug 2005 02:44:28 +0100
Time for another monthly placeholder entry. No Lisp lately; my
employers have been making me actually work for a living for the past
few weeks, and my non-work time has been occupied with stuff I can’t talk
about yet. I’m sure that wasn’t in the contract…
Round up for the month of July:
- July 3rd: 24 heures du Mans
rollers: a relay race around Le Mans Circuit Bugatti. Entered as part of the LSST Team 2, came 137th
of 595 starters (or 138th morally, if you accept that the Team Bont
disqualification was a con). It’s a 4.3km circuit; my average lap
time was 9:20 and best was 8:45 or so, which I’m pretty happy with.
More here (registration may be required, I’ve had cookies for that
site so long I can’t remember which bits are public). Next time don’t
buy the Â£10 Tesco Value tent, it’s pants.
- July 7th: not killed by terrorist attacks. Not able to get to
work either: so it goes.
- July 9th – present (something of an ongoing process still, this)
: moved house. New flat is in Bethnal Green, which is near
enough work that it’s an easy skate and near enough central London
that it’s also a pleasant skate. (Skating in Leytonstone was mostly an
exercise in being beeped at and pulled out on by car drivers who’d
clearly never seen a skater before). New flat is still however
looking a bit bare, as too much of my stuff is still in boxes in the
old place waiting for an opportunity to move it (see “work”, above)
- But at last I have internet at home again (ADSL from ClaraNET:
staff deal) and almost have wireless to go with it. I got a
Netgear DG834DG bcause it looked cute and cheap and is supposed to be
quite hackable (it runs Linux) which I thought might be fun. However,
in the two or three days since my adsl service was actually switched
on it’s frequently stopped wirelessing for no apparent reason, forcing
me to plug my laptop in using a cable in order to find out that
there’s nothing in the logs to indicate why. Gah. Looks like some
amount of hacking may be a necessity, then, not just a fun spare-time
project. As if I have any spare time right now anyway. (Yes, I’ve
already tried a firmware upgrade: no joy)
- On the other hand, it could equally well be the laptop at fault,
I suppose. Since I upgraded every part of it at once (Debian from a
version old enough to have XFree86 to current unstable, the kernel to
whatever I could find, then some abortive mucking around with
pcmciautils and udev which I later had to revert because it doesn’t
actually work usefully yet) I have no hibernation support and the
machine is prone from time to time to spin the disk continuously
while refusing to respond to M-C-backspace, M-C-F1, Numlock, or
anything else that might usually be a “hey!” signal. I can see why
people buy Macs: because Apple don’t have an “unstable” version for public
- Today: (or technically yesterday). Registered and booked flights
for the Berlin Inline Marathon. With any luck I might actually have some
speedskates by then and will be able to bend my ankles more than
Crossmax usually allow.
Time for another monthly placeholder entry
Fri, 12 Aug 2005 14:21:50 +0100
I’ve been playing with Google Maps. The
link you see there is notable less for what you can see (though the
satellite view is kind of neat) as what you would be able to see if
url bar immediately after visiting it. Probably only works in
Mozilla-derived browsers, or at least has not been tested in anything
Anyway, that’s where I’ll be leading 100-odd skaters (some odder
than others, I have no doubt) on Sunday afternoon.
In the process I noted quite a lot of one-way streets that are
incorrectly marked in Google Maps, which is a shame as it does rather
reduce the usefulness of said tool for skate route planning of this
It would be nice if it measured distance: that will be forthcoming.
Yes, I do know about the gmap pedometer, but that only allows the last
point to be edited, whereas this thing allows intermediate points to
be moved/inserted/deleted – and is a bit easier to get the data out of
in useful format.
I've been playing with Google Maps
Mon, 15 Aug 2005 17:52:22 +0100
Sadly, rain stopped play. Or at least, the forecast threat of it was
serious enough that we cancelled the Rollerstroll (no link as web site
is a useless Flash thing) yesterday and instead went out for an
impromptu skate down by the river and then up and down Pentonville
Rise. Happily in a way we did get rained on, thus vindicating the
“no go” decision for the official skate.
New skates! Currently borrowing a pair of these
attached to these:
only been out on them twice and they do seem to require a
significantly different technique than xmax. Which is not a surprise,
really. If I haven’t shredded my feet in the next few days – and all
the signs so far look promising; a certain amount of ankle rubbing on
the left boot that will go away when I manage to get the frame aligned
properly – I will be making an offer for the boots (and then have to
get some frames of my own for them, but that’s a fairly
After some hacking with Venkman and the Microoft Script Debugger,
my Google Maps hack now seems to work in IE as well as Firefox.
Firefox won’t print polylines when I ask for a hardcopy, though, which
What else? A full factory reset of my DG834G seemed to improve
wireless stability a lot, but it still manages to drop off the net
after about five days and I still don’t know why. Changing the
frequency from the admin interface was enough to kick it back into
life. Also even when it does work, something is not right with the
DHCP: the router’s DHCP server issues addresses with a 12 hour lease,
and either it refuses renewal requests or Linux doesn’t make renewal
requests, so … gah.
Sadly, rain stopped play
Fri, 19 Aug 2005 17:48:09 +0100
“The suspend is killing me”, said Arthur testily.
Actually, the suspend is a lot better than it was. It seems that
the good bits of Suspend 2 are supposed to be being read by other
people and slowly merged into the less-featureful swsusp code in the
baseline kernel. So I decided to try that and see how far it’s got,
and it already works better than suspend2 did. My usb phone is still
broken, but after some
investigation and a fairly brutal patch I have suspendable
wireless at least.
"The suspend is killing me", said Arthur testily
Sun, 21 Aug 2005 00:25:49 +0100
I just had to reboot my computer after a Lisp program wedged it.
Well, I guess that needs a little qualification. The Lisp in
question was librep, the librep interpreter was also running my
window manager (Sawfish), and the program was (read-line).
And the computer wasn’t totally wedged (it carried on playing my MP3s)
but wouldn’t listen to any keyboard input or focus changes, nor even
to M-C-F1 or M-C-Backspace, making it rather hard to regain control.
So if I had another machine here I could probably have sshed into it,
but I haven’t, so there.
Still, if one of the supposed advantages of Lisp is the ease of
interactive experimentation and debugging, (and I think I’ve said this
before), Sawfish is not it.
Context: still flushed from my success in getting 90%-working
suspend-to-disk, I thought I’d make the machine’s power button
activate it instead of having to su root and echo stuff into obscurely
named files in /sys. That worked quite well once I’d
accounted for my script getting run multiple times on each button
press. Then I decided to make the volume buttons work too, and that’s
where I started playing with sawfish. Maybe it’s time to try Eclipse again.
# Initiates suspend-to-disk when the power putton has been
# pressed. Note use of background process and locking: button
# seems to send two events (up and down?) each time it’s pressed,
# and we only get called for the second after the script has returned
# from the first.
( if lockfile -r0 /tmp/.acpi-suspend-lock; then
echo ‘platform’ >/sys/power/disk
echo ‘disk’ >/sys/power/state
echo ‘Ignoring second suspend attempt’
fi ) &
I just had to reboot my computer after a Lisp program wedged it