Satya's blog - 2004/

Dec 26 2004 20:40 Mary Poppins
Is it just me, or does Mary Poppins (the movie) bear a certain resemblance to Cat in the Hat (the movie)? Two semi-bored kids, a magical person appears from nowhere, and measures them (tape/phunometer).

The boy's from Willoughby house. No, I don't expect anyone to get that. And it's nothing to do with Harry Potter, either.

The "Spoonful of sugar" tune sounds familiar. Of course I've seen the movie before and may have heard it then.
Dec 24 2004 16:34 New models
Sigh. I just dropped more money on aircraft models -- an F18 Hornet (1:48) (because it was cheap) and paints for it (which weren't) and a gratuitous (but not free) 1:44 F16, just because. This is in addition to the N scale train crap (track and a couple of coupler/truck kits) I bought a few (2? 3?) weeks ago. The 2 locomotives I have don't even run so well -- I think I need to clean the wheels.

Oh yeah new pictures of various models in my picture galler slash album: Random train pictures, including couplers/trucks:

the X-Wing:
and the steam locomotive model (follow the links, you know you want to).
Dec 17 2004 11:09 Firefox is the new emacs
Someone just commented that you can do X (never mind what X is, I had a small question for the lab today) in emacs, probably with a plugin or whatever it's called in emacs.

I said yeah, so can Firefox, and boom, here's the idea: firefox is the new emacs! You can do almost anything with an extension, pretty soon I'm sure it will do word processing and email (all programs evolve until they can send email -- except Exchange).
Dec 17 2004 10:58 Yay, food!
Yay, thanks to amblin for bringing bags of... stuff. Hmm. Hard to describe but tasty. Basically a bag full of chex cereal, cheerios, mixed with Gems/M&Ms, peanuts, pretzels, all coated haphazardly with white chocolate. Mmm!
Dec 05 2004 12:29 Smaller JPEGs
Found out about this from someone's blog. It seems that JPEG files can have application blocks, which are extra information about the file. These are useful for photo editing and cataloging applications but add nothing to the image. Removing these blocks makes no difference to the displayed image.

Since my albums are produced from a source archive, I can remove the blocks from the processed album (leaving the sources as they were) and get a significant saving in file sizes. How significant? The albums/ directory went from about 68MiB to about 52MiB after doing this: for i in `find . -name "*.jpg" -print`; do convert +profile "*" t.jpg;mv t.jpg $r;done

(I had to escape the quote marks because I redirected the output of this command, after adding echos, to a file and ran the file. Be careful if your filenames have spaces or non-lowercase .jpg extensions.)
Dec 04 2004 09:31 A geeky joke
GJ was eating some Thai food and went "Yum!" so I said "Apt!"
Nov 18 2004 19:40 Stupid ads
Okay, there is no need for Live5 news to scroll the retirement of a football coach ("more at 11") across the bottom of the screen during Friends.
Commercials are bad enough; they don't have to be *during* the shows. Especially the intrusive ones.
Nov 06 2004 10:00 User friendly
So, people can use AutoCAD and other stuff that takes a bit of training, but whine about web pages being hard to use? WTF?

Okay, not the same people, but when the web site is part of your job?
Nov 03 2004 19:38 Backups with rsync
After installing gkrellm on deepthot, I realised I have a bunch of settings and email folders on deepthot that aren't backed up. Enter rsync:
rsync -rle ssh /home/satyap satyap@[server]:dt \
--exclude=/satyap/.cpan \
--delete \
--delete-excluded \
Yeah, bwlimit is commented out. It was there as a courtesy to those who share the room, since we're all on the same router and my backup is a couple of gigs. (I don't know how! Lots of old crap and can't-throw-this-away files.) Anyway, everyone's gone home now, the screen(1) has been re-attached, and it's at full throttle now.

Note: Knowing how to "reboot with F8 in safe mode" does not make you an Air Force tech.
Nov 03 2004 19:28 Gkrellm
Since someone filled up /var on gort twice since yesterday, today I wanted to write some kind of client-server thing to monitor gort's health and display it in a terminal on some other computer like deepthot. Then I considered making it web-base,d writing it in perl, etc. Then I considered using something like Big Brother or some other server monitoring thing.

Then amblin told me about the perfect thing.

So after several months of wondering (and not losing any sleep over) what that gkrellm thing in the package list is, today I found out. It's a server/computer monitoring daemon and graphical display bar thingy. Very configurable, sometimes a little hard to read, but nice. I run two on deepthot: one to monitor deepthot, another to monitor gort (tunnelled over ssh, though it doesn't have to be. And not X-forwaded, either). This thing does client-server as well as local monitoring.

Then I came home and set up the windows version (suckier) on wintermutex. Now I can actually *see* when sysdrive starts filling up. And I can still monitor gort. I probably don't need to monitor deepthot from here. Maybe I should -- then I'd have a desktop full of gkrellm bars.
Oct 30 2004 11:10 Target's web site unusable in Firefox
Just sent Target this acidic note: "The target financial services web site (accessible via a link from ) does not work with my browser: Firefox 1.0PR. It returns a blank page. Your web site is unusable to users of this web browser."