Satya's blog - 2005/07/
I'm reading Dan Brown's Digital Fortress, which is all about computers and cryptohgraphy. It's Brown's usual mix of fact and fiction, only this time I know what's what. The story is good, but it has little grounding in reality. What kind of sysadmin performs maintenance and upgrades by soldering chips into a computer, on his back, in the 21st century? (Where the solder can fall onto his face, no less!) It's very interesting as long as I pretend it's all in a parallel universe.
I've been going through the train magazines that Crawcram gave me -- I think it's time to pass them on. But I keep seeing a NY Central Hudson everywhere. That's interesting because I have a (plastic) model of this locomotive. So of course I notice it whenever I see it and it's probably pretty common. Would be similar if I had a Dash-9 or something.
(As usual, click on the image to get a bigger version, and see the rest of the album.)
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 09:15
Debian Linux distributes software in files called deb files (.deb). Most end users don't have to worry about them, as the package manager programs, some of which are pretty (see synaptic), do all the work. Other Linux distributions use other packaging formats, like RPM.
But when you write new software, you should make a deb (or RPM or whatever -- since I use Debian, I'll talk about making a deb) so it's easier for others to install your software. Sure, you can distribute a tar.gz like I've done all this time, but that's not very user-friendly.
How do you make a deb file? It's not simple, because the instructions are opaque. The method I give here is probably completely wrong, but it's worked enough for me to obtain a home-grown for-internal-use-only no-frills deb package.
That is all. If I find out what the heck I'm doing wrong, I'll update this.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was released yesterday... and the library showed it as available (lots of people had placed hols, we were 50-something in line, but the library has over 200 copies) that morning. So here I am, reading it.
It could definitely do with some editing. The first chapter, for example, was unnecessary. The pace is slow, but not too slow... but neither is it fast. Some people could get bored with it.
Shades of Star Wars. Harry says he must face Voldemort. Can you imagine Dumbledore as Obi-wan, going "You *must* face Voldemort again." Flitwick would make a good Yoda. Then there's Voldemort saying "Greatness inspires envy, envy engenders spite, spite spawns lies." Yoda said something similar, I think. Then there's Dumbledore saying things like I have no wand, I am defenseless. "Give in to your hate" ...er, no.
The old Cooper river bridges are closed today.
(The new-old bridge eclipses the old-old bridge in this picture.)
The new Cooper river bridge is opening today.
(The new bridge eclipses both old bridges in this picture.)
Frank Starmer, a resident of these parts, has been taking pictures and writing about the new bridge construction for the last two years. One of his many web sites: http://monitor.admin.musc.edu/bridge/blog/
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 09:12
'Lakshya' has to be the first decent Hindi movie I've seen for some time. Credible performances by Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta, Amitabh Bachchan, and others. No over-the-top acting, no overly emotional scenes, everything moderate but just enough to give you a feel for the characters. Just the right amount of humor. Even the musical numbers aren't completely out of place. No "dream sequences" -- yet. The scenes of Hrithik's character's background are decently done, too.
It still has the usual war movie cliches: the friend who dies, the girl back home (though she's a reporter who gets involved -- another cliche). And the obligatory "why are we fighting" "because we have to" shouting match between the civilian observer and the military guy -- again, properly done, not over the top. It's probably exactly what an army guy would come up with in that situation anyway. And they had a random extra do it, not the lead, which is good. Extras are people, too.
Alright, the romantic sub-plot was unnecessary.
Hey, Amitabh's character is shown to be Maharashtrian. I wonder if he really knows Marathi or was he just mouthing sounds.
So at one point a bus pulls up and unloads a wounded soldier. That looked so much like MASH -- I've been watching the DVDs in broadcast order -- I was expecting Hawkeye to come running up.
Okay, everything I said before goes for the first half -- the first 90 minutes or so. Around the 2-hour mark I was wondering, how much more?
Now my blog software has tags! (If you're on my web site, see the blog menu on the right... otherwise, go to my web site!)
Update 20050715: The tag stuff is now AJAX! It is a Rich Internet Application! Yay!
Last updated: Jul 15 2005 12:08
Today I wanted to ssh to a box sitting across the room but didn't know its hostname or IP address. So I figure I could ping xxx.xx.107.255 and see what responds. A nicer thing to do would be to ping each IP in the range (only 254 possibilities, of which I can rule out my own and a couple of others) once.
<Sean Connery>One ping only.</SeanConnery>
Last updated: Jul 06 2005 13:46
Between buying and building new models, I completed the Hodgson Water Mill jigsaw puzzle, a cheap 500-piece one that I picked up in some random shop (Walgreens?). It sucked. I think this is the same water mill that's on some grocery store products -- I remember seeing something in the store.
Last updated: Jan 22 2006 09:11
I'm watching the 1955 version of the movie _The Ladykillers_ starring Sir Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, and others. The young Sir Alec isn't quite Tom Hanks, and those false teeth make him look really weird. but it's the same voice we all heard in Star Wars as Obi-wan Kenobi, and in _Bridge over the River Kwai_.
The DVD's sound quality sucks, there are no closed captions, and the first half of the movie is all "what's going on?" but the second half is funny.