August 11th, 2004

This must be wednesday. Never could get the hang of wednesdays.

After 2 months, I have finally managed to reboot my laptop. Marathon session of closing to-do items, emailing people, updating my Linucon to-do list, looking stuff up, writing stuff down, downloading snapshots of things, and generally closing windows.

And the 2.6.8 kernel isn't out yet. Phooey (is apparently a word I don't know how to spell).

Oh well, I can check out Rik van Reil's token based swap anti-thrashing thing. You see, once I've had my laptop up for a while and have enough open windows, and have suspended and resumed enough times, it goes into a swap frenzy trying to do anything. The swap partition gets fragmented, and Konqueror is just pathologically designed somehow. And bits of KDE block on other bits of KDE that they really shouldn't. (It takes ten to fifteen seconds to open a new command line window, for reasons that make no sense on a 700 mhz Pentium. This is when it's NOT deeply into swap, but right after a fresh boot. The KDE taskbar is hung while it's wating for this, it won't even repaint if I obscure it with another window. Fedora Core 1.) Now add swap thrashing with a fragmented swap file after 2 months of software suspend and resume into the mix, and you can see how it can get a little irritating.

So Rik's patch sounds like a good idea.

Hanging out at Metro. Their general audio pollution is going on, with a CD of something that cannot possibly be called music. Imagine "cat /boot/vmlinuz > /dev/audio" slowed down about 100 times. Now imagine you did it with the original 8 bit soundblaster as your output, complete with clicks and dropouts because the output buffer is too small to service regularly.

They have a CD of this. My theory remains that they play this stuff to keep homeless people from sneaking in and sleeping here. (Remember when the first Bush played rap "music" (the C is slient, apparently) around the clock to get Noriega out of the church he was taking sanctuary in? If they'd had access to the wannabe garage bands that Metro inflicts upon its patrons, he wouldn't have lasted three days...)

Not that there's necessarily anything worse than rap, but there's a certain comfort in mentally making fun of people who haven't got the three cords to qualify as a rock band (see "land of 10,000 dances" for the specific three chords) repeating their one note over and over again about how they're so "gangsta" that they make a living in a recording studio. (Every bit as gangsta as Pavarotti and britney spears, apparently. Or maybe Jack Keroac, replacing the spellbinding delivery with having burped into a drum machine.)

Other than that Metro is a wonderful place to hang out. Chai, cookies, comfortable couches, internet access, the video arcade next door... People aren't even allowed to smoke in here anymore thanks to Austin's new "no smoking within 35 feet of a cigarette" laws (which even I admit might be just a tad strict, but which I also personally am benefitting from. I don't expect 'em to last, but I'm enjoying it while I can...)

I just need to bring earplugs, or get some of those expensive noise cancelling headphones. (And get the sound card on my laptop working. A to-do item I haven't even attempted to work on in a couple months. The easy way to get it to work would be upgrading my laptop to Fedora Core 2, that has ALSA support compiled into everything out of the box. The downside of this is that my laptop would then be running Fedora Core 2.)

The chain guard on my bike finally got bent out of shape enough to interfere with the pedals even after a couple good whacks, so I got a screwdriver and took it off. Have yet to get bike chain grease on my leg (well I grew up biking all over Kwaj), but give me time...

I miss Fade, despite having seen her yesterday.

I'm reading Gurps Lite and realising that I did in fact play this years and years ago, somewhere between Traveler and Rolemaster. (I've read several of the supplemental books like Gurps discworld or Gurps Russia, but hadn't seen the basic rules in years.)

Metro's audio craptacular has now decided to simulate a radio switching stations between some kind of industrial steam whistle noises and the kind of interference you get from a desktop computer with the case off, with lots of static but sudden chunks of complete silence in there to make it harder to ignore consistently... Ah, now it's back to the mosquito buzz noises. And now it's been holding the same note for over 30 seconds...

Where do they get this stuff? It's actually fairly impressive. This isn't the normal incompetence type of bad, this is researched and planned suckage. Someone somewhere put _effort_ into this, taking mere talentless crap and distilling pure annoyance out of it. Of course, having been ignoring at metro for years now... It's some strange kind of strange mental defense exercise, really. After ignoring the background noise at metro, everything else is easy...

Bender's been out most of the time for the past three days. Dunno what he's doing. Probably does him good to get out more, though. It does mean that the cat (her name is George) is even more bored than usual. I'm doing what I can. (He says from the coffee house, rather than home playing with the cat. Who has decided that the chunk of velcro stuck to the thinkpad power cord is her natural enemy, by the way. To be pounced and chewed to death at every opportunity...)

My chai's run out. I want a cookie.
  • Current Music
    Skillfully ignored.