Personal Computing Joy

It started innocently enough. My abused RedHat 7.0 installation was beginning to show signs of age, and it seems to be dropping off Ximian’s Red Carpet in terms of support. An upgrade to 7.3 seemed like a good idea.

The pain.

What I forgot was that every time I’ve upgraded RedHat, I’ve done so via a clean install. Still, what could possibly go wrong? I burn the release CDs, reboot, start the upgrade process, and sit back.

Then comes the error. The program dies trying to install twm. It gives a wonderful message saying that basically any number of things could have gone wrong, but it wasn’t going to tell me. Oh, and it was going to abort and reboot if that was okay with me.

The reboot leads to all kinds of interesting errors, from refusing to mount my LVM /mp3 partition, doing strange things with my ext3 partitions, before finally giving up with a kernel panic. After wiping the entertaining thoughts of smashing my machine into pieces with a sledgehammer, I start again. With a clean install. It works. With no errors. Obviously, there was a reason that I never did upgrades.

After that, it was a matter of completely junking the RH kernel, and grabbing 2.4.18 from kernel.org, as my VIA chipset wasn’t detected with the RH 2.4.18, but was with the standard one. And then slowly rebuilding the applications that I’d lost.

Just for balance - my sister upgraded from IE 4.0 to IE 6.0 yesterday, and lost all of her mail in the process. To sum up - Computers Are Evil.

Nice and smooth.

Spent the day re-reading the entire Invisibles saga, to a cut-up soundtrack of Hacienda/Ibiza period New Order, mid-1990s BritPop, a long-forgotten Ant & Dec support band, and the post-future hymns of Godspeed You Black Emperor, Exhaust, and A Silver Mt. Zion. And this time, I understood. The next time I’ll understand differently. Fiction as Fractal. FictionSuitGo.

My very own name plate?

Apparently, I get my own office at UNC Chapel Hill. This is quite scary. They’re paying me real money as well. Where’s the catch? Aside from having to deal with the students?

Testing PySnap

or why I love Python. I’m timing it as having created a usable blogging application one hour after opening XEmacs and Glade windows. And quite a bit of that time was spent remembering how Python syntax works. I feel useful again.

And it’s only 42 lines of code. That’s quite cool.

Cassandra speaks


Kieron Gillen/Brem X Jones/David Kohl has started his own blog. Go, visit, and suchlike.

"You've got to let the old world go"



Every time one of my favourite bands releases a new record, I tend to get rather apprehensive. The concept of 10-12 new songs, that I haven’t heard before, that could completely change how I feel about them, unsettles. I worry that the new album will suck. A copy of the first track from the new Sleater-Kinney release, One Beat, fell into my hands on Friday.

I’m sorry I even doubted them for a second.

‘One Beat’ is the most irresistible song you’ll hear this year, I promise. A diatibe of Thomas Edison, Chaos Theory and oil fields, welded to a fantastic machine-gun rhythm of drums and guitar. It’s as much a call to arms as ‘Ballad of a Ladyman’ was, but this time, they Really Mean It. Roll on August…

XML-RPC is very cool.



XML-RPC is very cool. I always like it when I stumble across new things on the Internet, so this week has been very entertaining. I never knew that blogging was soinvolved

Could it be?

Could it be? After all this time, is Ogg Vorbis 1.0 finally here? Well, almost.

Went to London today.

Went to London today. We didn’t really seem to do a lot, apart from have lunch and go to a few shops, but it was a fun day out. Play.com received a sizable order from me on the basis of yesterday’s downloads (it’s for research. Honest). I’m currently trying to find a few tracks from Beth Orton’s new album, Daybreaker. The demise of AudioGalaxy has made it harder for me to get hold of albums before they’re released. I’m chasing down some links on Gnutella at the moment…

More Money to the RIAA

I should really stop downloading music. Not only am I continuing to kill the music industry, but it’s making the list of CDs I have to buy rather large, considering that I have nowhere to put them at the moment…