Archive for October, 2002

Randomly useful thing [UPDATED]

Monday, October 28th, 2002

[ from the randomly-useful dept. ]

Nothing important really, but to those who care, there is a non broken gas in /stud/ug/jcm00u/local/gnu/bin/as on Well it’s on to be truely pedantic about it – though hopefully that SAN will actually come online soon so who knows where it’ll be then :-) For those who really do not know and actually care – all the machines in Nottingham are named after Robin Hood characters (except pat), original.

As an update to the earlier entry, I am playing with tkisem at the moment and it is quite likely that a build is about to appear in the same place – there are valid reasons for a SPARC emulator on SPARC, and this is useful.

My main mailserver is now three years old, it’s perhaps time to replace it, given that it is a RedHat machine – albeit it has been tweaked minorly over the last few years (like when the disk failed and needed “fixing”). Hopefully a nice new Squirrelmail server will go up soon to complement all the lovely ones I’ve got elsewhere – it’ll beat using…pine…for all my email. In defence of pine, it has been a faithful friend for years despite it’s non-Free and thus need-to-be-replaced status, I just haven’t had a chance to get around to it. Most people around here seem to be LookOut Losers anyway…and that really does scare me.

Laugh, it’s funny

Today’s track: Busted – What I Go To School For



Monday, October 28th, 2002

[ from the such-a-wonderful-thing dept. ]

There once was a jcm,
who liked to drink coffee.
He drank it all day,
and withered away,
poor caffeinated jonny.

Someone’s playing loud music again. Solution is coffee and Sennheiser headphones with A-Ha Superior Techno Remix playing loudly to mask bass.

I suppose I will be tired in the morning, but right now I have coffee. I’ll have coffee in the morning too, and that can only be a bad thing – but I will have coffee and that’s that. Mmmmmm….coffee. Coffee. Coffee!

You want to buy Boaters Hazelnut flavoured coffee

It’s amazing how much shit you can get mixed up over, given enough time. This book very nicely explains how hardware multipliers/dividers actually work – and that is a good thing, since I seem to be hazy on some of the details. Not that it actually matters to what I’m doing but it is interesting and reading certainly beats trying to get to sleep in the present climate :-)

Nice explanation of non-restoring division through an example implementation of division (sufficently vague that I had to leave the room and escape from the thudding on the floor above to consider it for a few moments – the never ending bass from above is enough to stop all rational thought processes at this time of day).

I should warn everyone that I am in one of my Nottingham moods today – one of those “why the fuck do I bother staying here?” moods. I could easily have taken a fantastic job over the summer and not have to stay and deal with the kind of beurocratic bullshit I have to deal with…sigh. Someone offer me a similar job today and it’ll get very strong consideration indeed. :-)

Finally, note that Microsoft Exchange is a stupid piece of shit. This we all knew anyway, but it’s especially true now. It sucks hard from both a user and Administration point of view – I just spent too long doing something that would have been trivial with exim.


RANT – Weather

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

[ from the aaaarrgh dept. ]

I’m stuck in Nottingham, land of the “civilised”. No trains anywhere pleasantish today. This is annoying, very annoying. Still, I’m curling up with my book and making some progress through it I suppose. Hurry up and stop being so windy.

Music of the day: Electric Light Orchestra – Calling America


SPARC Architecture, Assembly Language Programming and C [UPDATED]

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

[ from the wow dept. ]

SPARC Architecture, Assembly Language Programming and C

Wow! This book is impressively good so far. I’m only a few chapters in and already I feel that feeling that somehow I am absorbing information from merely touching the pages. This is the book I spent weeks trying to order over the summer and where should I find it but in the Jubilee Library on the new campus here in Nottingham! That’s actually cool – I wouldn’t have expected anyone around here to be interested.

I shall write a more complete review at a later juncture, but suffice it to say that this book is really really cool. Unfortunately it is now permanently unavailable according to Borders, which is a shame. I hope it’s because a new edition is coming out, though this one is from the 1999 edition and so not very old as it is. Please please please, bring more copies of this out and force undergrads to read it :-)


A weekend in Nottingham

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

[ from the escape-escape-escape-now dept. ]

Nottingham is a fantastical place to spend a weekend. Well, actually it’s probably one of the places I would put lower down the list. Luckily I am probably going to Birmingham later today to see Dan and Hussein, relatives, Motor Show. That kind of thing.

I dunno why I’m in such a bad mood with Nottingham this weekend but I am. So many things around here need tweaking in my opinion and I just feel it’s not going to happen. I want more than a degree – I want to feel I’m in the right kind of environment. That just isn’t true right now as I see it.

I know, I know, I should stop whining. After all, I can graduate and do something interesting next year in theory. Still, I kind of feel time is slipping away and I’ve not actually enjoyed my time here – it’s sad but true. I can’t single handedly change the world either.

Annoying, annoying, annoying. It all fscks me off.


Next personal extension to jcm->self

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

[ from the powerbooks-are-nice dept. ]

I have decided that the next extension to my collection will have to be a Tadpole SPARCbook 6500. These things are sweet, and I mean really sweet. Almost beating the Powerbook in cuteness factor. I will get one when I graduate, it’s just a matter of time. I wonder how much they cost.


More Portable Power

Sunday, October 27th, 2002

[ from the bigger-and-better-is-good dept. ]

I think I might need to get more UPS units. One might not be enough to make my point, hmmmm. Someone tell me where I can get small, light >600VA units that can be lugged about? Preferably with serial or USB control so that I can get some status feedback – the current one is a bit heavy and requires switching arms 5-10 times between here and campus :-)

Yes, I’m in a pissed off with Nottingham mood. Weekends do that kind of thing.