Pat's Log
Wed, 02 Jun 2004

New Shades
20040602 I bought new sunglasses today. The old ones had a crack in them, misshapen, and were too wide (always getting them caught on things). The new ones are definitely smaller, small enough that it will take some time to get used to seeing the frame in my peripheral vision. They are polarized, which means that when they are turned 45 degrees to a LCD, the screen is black. The intended purpose of catching the glare off of shiny cars is also served: on the bike ride home today, I noticed that whereas windshields are normally white with glare, now they were dark and I could see right into the cars. Even tinted windows do not hinder seeing inside cars too much. Very cool.

I spent a good chunk of the day playing with CVS versions of D-BUS and HAL. D-BUS runs fine, but HAL is a no-go. With recent wireless additions, the daemon segfaults on startup when it attempts to communicate with the Atheros card. I may try fixing the code, since I seem to be the only person on the list who has one of these. It should definitely ignore "bad" devices if it cannot talk with them.

I was pondering what writing in this log does for me. At the very least, it brings into focus all of the little writing nuances that require constant practice to avoid. For example, repetitive overuse of certain words. I know I do this. When writing an essay, the repetition does not come out immediately. When writing a continuous journal, it is easy to spot deficiencies in writing style, since the topics are all over the place, and, therefore, there should never be a shortage of words. I wonder if these entries will be better in a year from now.

The monthly OCLUG meeting was last night. I missed it. Oops. It didn't even occur to me that it was the first Tuesday of June yesterday. I expected it to be next week, somehow.

[] | posted @ 15:37 | link

I have never lost important things on a hard drive...
20040601 ...until today. When I got to work, I noticed that my build machine was completely nuts, and the upon reboot wouldn't boot. The filesystem wouldn't mount from a rescue CD. Looked very bad.

The crazy thing is that the next thing on my todo list, clearly marked for this morning, was to back up all the important things on the disk. Murphy must be laughing.

Anyway, after two hours of playing, swapping hard drive PCBs, using reiserfstools, and hoping for the best, the filesystem did mount, and I was able to retrieve all important information. There were weird things, like all of the directories from the root of the drive (usr, bin, sbin, and so on) existed within subdirectories of /etc, but it mostly worked. It would not mount after that. But that's okay. There was one shot at retrieving data and it was used.

I cannot tell why this system was using ReiserFS. I generally insist that all my build machines use ext3, which would not suffer the kind of errors Reiser did. Proper journalling could have saved a lot of hassle, especially since it was just a few bad blocks near the end of the drive.

The day wasn't over yet. As I was installing a new copy of Debian on a new drive for this machine, a big storm developed. The power went off, then on. Then, a minute later, it flickered again. Damn. Well, everything survived... but not quite. Turns out the dish on the roof stopped working. So out to the roof I went. No damage. But the radio box on the antenna was fried. It got replaced quickly, thankfully.

The day was over. And I guess I didn't lose anything important on the drive after all.

[] | posted @ 03:53 | link

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