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Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: LUV Beginners March Meeting: An Introduction to High Performance Computing Using Linux

Wed, 2015-03-18 15:29
Start: Mar 21 2015 12:30 End: Mar 21 2015 16:30 Start: Mar 21 2015 12:30 End: Mar 21 2015 16:30 Location: 

RMIT Building 91, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton South

Link:  http://luv.asn.au/meetings/map

Of the top five hundred computers in the world today, 97% of them run Linux. This is no accident, as Linux offers the best platform for efficient and scalable code. In this introductory session, LUV members will be introduced to the core concepts and architecture behind supercomputing, high-performance computing, and parallel processing, along with an introductory session on an actual HPC system.

LUV would like to acknowledge Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Buzzard Lecture Theatre venue and VPAC for hosting.

Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

March 21, 2015 - 12:30

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David Rowe: SM1000 Part 12 – Testing in the US

Wed, 2015-03-18 07:30

Walter, K5WH has one of the 3 pre-beta SM1000 units. He writes:

Here’s a pic of the operations setup of the SM1000 on the air today from Houston Texas, into my HPSDR radio. With average Power down to 3 watts even. Made successful contacts to Mel-K0PFX and Gerry-N4DV. After working the audio levels a little, had reports of nice transmitted audio, and the received audio was very clean sounding as well. We were even fortunate enough to have a station breaking in with us from Benin West Africa, TY2BP Pat.

So not only working a couple stateside stations, but first DX as well. Great success with the SM1000! Walter has used the SM1000 with his HSPDR and TS-480 radios at power levels between 4 and 75W.

Jeff Waugh: Pictures of depression

Wed, 2015-03-18 05:14

A warning light is pulsing on the control panel in front of you, but it can wait. You’ll get to it in a moment. So many things to do.

A polite, persistent bleeping began at some point. You weren’t paying enough attention to recall when. It’s ever so slightly out of phase with the warning light.

You feel a dull rumbling through the seat, the floor, between your joints. The room shifts on its axis, as if it’s falling away from under you.

Darkness. A klaxon splutters and honks. Rotating beacons cut the room into contorted still images. Orange, blue, orange, blue.

You watch a wall puncture, crack, and tear. The air around you whistles out into silence.

Metal grinds through metal. It would sound like two trains carving through each other, but for the vacuum.

Then the walls peel away.

Floating. Alone. Adrift. Bewildered.

In depression, no one can hear you scream.

Late last year, I had another crash. (Episode is a silly word.) I should’ve seen it coming. Or, I did see it coming, but pretty much anything else short of anchovies is more pleasant than actually dealing with it.

I have no right or reason to be depressed. There are contributing factors, for sure, but no root cause. In every other respect, life is grand. But that’s not how depression works. It’s a parasite, sucking out every feeling until you’re a dead-eyed husk… except guilt. That one it nurtures.

What’s weird is having a graphical representation of the fall. Check it out: Metadata! The quantified self!

This is a collectd chart of the RAM utilisation in my desktop computer. SLIVER has two big monitors, a nice video card, proper headphones, and so on. It’s where the work gets done, and it’s a dead zone from late November to mid February. My GitHub activity chart looks much the same.

Things improved in February, but I’m still taking a break from work. I need to get my shit together, and don’t want to disappoint anyone if I hit another wall. See that gap in March? Another wall!

But I’m out of the dead zone.

On good days, I’ve been seeing friends, doing personal projects, science experiments, and learning new things. On bad days, sleeping, watching television, reloading web pages. I’m still trading the occasional people-heavy event for a couple of bad days to “recover”. Pfft. That’ll get better.

It sucks being away from work. Lots of big changes and exciting things going on. But I’m grateful for the support, understanding, and time away. Back soon.

– — –

The big difference this time around is hope. Psychologically, I know I can beat depression a hundred times worse, because I did. Financially, I can survive a siege of non-functional depression because I’ve had three years to build a war chest to outlast it. Personally and professionally, I’m more confident because I know where I fit, and what I need to learn.

So, it’s been a shitty few months. But it’s going to be okay.

Ben Martin: Google Breakpad and the post crash experience

Tue, 2015-03-17 14:33
Google Breakpad has many components to it, but at the basic level it lets you capture information at the time a crash occurs and upload that to the net. A really cute part of Breakpad is that the binary doesn't need to have the debug symbols in it, you don't even need to have them on the client machine at any location. When you build version $githash then you use a breakpad tool to copy out the debug symbols into separate files. When the user discovers a crash they upload a minidump file to a server of your selecting. Then you can combine the extracted symbols from build time and the minidump file to generate a backtrace with line number information. So software users don't have to know about gdb or lldb or whatnot and how to make a backtrace and where to paste it.







I recently updated FontForge's use of breakpad to use a small server on localhost to report the bug. The application dmg file for fontforge will soon also include the extracted symbols for the build. By telling breakpad to use a local server, that server can lookup the symbols that are shipped and generate a human readable backtrace with line number information. Because its also a web interface and running locally, it can spawn a browser on itself. So instead of getting the Mac dialog supplied by the osx crash reporter app telling you that there was a crash, you get a web page telling you the same thing. But the web page can use jQuery/Bootstrap (or $ui tool of choice) and ask what the user was doing and offer many ways to proceed from there depending on how the user wants to report things. The https://gist.github.com/ site can be used to report without any login or user accounts. It's also rather handy as a place to checking larger backtraces that might be, maybe, 50-100kb.



But once you can upload to gist, you can get a http and other URL links to the new gist. So it makes sense from there to offer to make a new github issue for the user too. And in that new issue include the link to the gist page so that developers can get at the full backtrace. It turns out that you can do this last part, which requires user login to github, by redirecting to github/.../issues/new and passing title and body GET parameters. While there is a github API, to report a new issue using it you would need to do OAuth first. But in the libre world it's not so simple to have a location to store the OAuth secure token for next time around. So the GET redirect trick nicely gets around that situation.





For those interested in this, the gist upload and callback to subsequently make a github issue are both available. The Google Breakpad hands over the minidump to a POST method which then massages the minidump into the backtrace and spawns a browser on itself. The GET serves up all the html, css, js, and other assets to the browser and that served html/js is what I link to at the start of the paragraph which is where the actual upload/reporting of the backtrace takes place.



The only thing left to do is to respond to the backtraces that come in and everybody gets a more stable FontForge out of the deal. It might be interesting to send off reports to a Socorro server too so that statistics month on month can be easily available.



Tim Serong: FWIW

Tue, 2015-03-17 12:27

Today I emailed Julie Collins MP, and senators Catryna Bilyk, Carol Brown, Jacqui Lambie, Helen Polley, Lisa Singh and Anne Urquhart concerning data retention. For the record, and in case it helps anyone else who wants to contact their representatives and senators, here’s what I wrote:

Dear NAME/TITLE,

I am writing regarding the Telecommunications (Interception and Access)

Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014. As I am sure you are very busy,

I will be as brief as I can.

The distinction the bill makes between metadata (so-called “non-content

data”) and content is grossly misleading; once you have enough of it,

metadata is just as privacy invasive, if not more so, than the actual

content of communications, and as such should only be collected with

proper judicial oversight, i.e. after a warrant is obtained.

Retaining this data for the entire Australian population is mass

surveillance, nothing more, nothing less, and is completely

inappropriate in a modern democratic society.

Tinkering around the edges as Labor is suggesting with amendments to

protect journalists’ sources is misguided at best; the only way to

protect such sources effectively would be to not retain the sources’

data either, and given that you can’t know who they are, the only way

to achieve this would be to not retain anyone’s data at all.

Finally, mandatory data retention won’t help to catch any criminal with

even a shred of intelligence, as it can be trivially circumvented by

the use of overseas communications providers, virtual private networks

and the like.

In summary, I am completely opposed to mandatory data retention in

Australia. As my representative, I’m asking you to reject this bill.

Yours faithfully,

Tim Serong

Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2015-03-09 to 2015-03-15

Mon, 2015-03-16 00:27

Binh Nguyen: Memorable Quotes

Sun, 2015-03-15 15:56
- They like their cats fried with garlic and washed down with beer in Vietnam's specialist restaurants.



Some diners even falsely believe that by eating a cat's spine they will gain the feline's agility.



Although no official statistics are available, eating cat meat in Vietnam is by all accounts almost as popular as eating dog meat, something of a tradition in the South-east Asian nation, despite the import of both meats being illegal.

...

Animal rights groups say cats and dogs are smuggled across the border from China, Thailand and Laos to feed the Vietnamese trade.



Residents of Hanoi say they see few cats and dogs roaming the streets.

http://www.smh.com.au/world/cat-on-the-menu-outrage-at-vietnamese-trade-in-felines-20150205-136ras.html

- Dog vs. Cat

In this gastronomic sampling of Chinese food, I'd have to go with dog. The meat was much more tender with a pleasant flavor. Cat on the other hand was average and not something to really look forward to eating.

http://thoughtcatalog.com/mark-wiens/2013/07/what-does-dog-and-cat-meat-taste-like/

- "My life is rather full. I have a full time job and numerous hobbies in addition to copy editing Wikipedia."...

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/man-makes-47000-wikipedia-edits-5106883

- Statistics: you can sensationalise anything with the right statistics. Case in point being the ad for the TV program about what really happens in Bali: "one Australian dies every 9 days in Bali". With the number of Australians visiting Bali that is probably unsurprising. So if they stayed in Australia they were more of a chance to die as one Australian dies every 3 1/2 minutes in Australia.

https://plus.google.com/109656415348418300485/posts

- A 'notorious molester' at Knox Grammar School had memorial gates erected in his honour with the inscription 'He touched us all', an inquiry has been told.

http://www.skynews.com.au/news/national/2015/02/24/school-put-up-memorial-for--molester-.html

- If you use a search engine, you will discover a wealth of material and, after reading and attmepting to apply some of it to your situation, you will enjoy a sense of satisfaction and achievement that I would in no way wish to deprive you of...

http://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/187140/centos-software-raid-1-issue

- @fruit: To quote the great Homer Simpson, "Aw, you can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. Forty percent of all people know that.

https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/184124

- "It's like watching a truck jack-knife on a road," Oliver says, clearly relishing the suspense. "It's like, 'It didn't crash this time. Let's give it five minutes, then it's going into a ditch'."



Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight, the satirical take on the world's news and current affairs that is fast becoming one of the world's most popular programs of its type, describes Abbott as "a car crash of a human being", albeit terrific fodder for comedy.

...

"Tony Abbott is an objectively fascinating man," Oliver insists. "The fact he's the leader of a country is in itself appealing as a comic. What's nice is being able to present someone who people have not seen here [in the US] and just to give them a glimpse into other people's pain, as well as their own."

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/tony-abbott-is-a-car-crash-of-a-human-being-says-comedian-john-oliver-20150302-13sog5.html

- "This paint job sends a direct message back to perpetrators that their wild urinating on this wall is not welcome," said Julia Staron of the St. Pauli's Community of Interest group to Reuters. "The paint protects the buildings and the residents and most importantly it sends a signal this behaviour is not on."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/german-city-uses-water-repellent-paint-to-splash-public-urinators-with-their-own-pee-1.2985123

- Work on the embassy was stopped in 1985, after it was determined that the building was so riddled with listening devices implanted by Soviet workers that the structure was in effect a multistory microphone. Washington and Moscow, as well as the Administration and Congress, have been haggling over what to do with the building ever since.

http://www.nytimes.com/1992/06/20/world/deal-made-on-bugged-us-moscow-embassy.html

- The Prime Minister has once again left onlookers shocked, and probably a little confused, but for once it wasn't what was coming out of his mouth, rather what was going into it.



While on a tour of a produce farm in Tasmania, Tony Abbott was seen to be munching on a raw onion - skin and all.

Onion, anyone?



"Better than any other onions I've eaten in a long time," Mr Abbott was reported as saying.



Images of the odd onion-fest immediately began doing the rounds online, with one media outlet labelling Mr Abbott "The Minister for Onions."



Mr Abbott was touring Charlton Farm Produce near Devonport in Tasmania on Friday when all of a sudden, he picked up the onion and ate it skin-on merely commenting that it was delicious and not shedding a single tear.



The PM, who appeared to be grimacing slightly, but otherwise may as well have been eating an apple, took the onion in his hand, and casually chomped into it while watching the grading of the vegetable.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-shocks-as-he-eats-a-raw-onion-whole-20150313-143syz.html

Tim Serong: Evolution

Sun, 2015-03-15 15:27

I saw this on Twitter today:

HOLY SHIT LOOK AT THIS EMAIL I GOT FROM A RECRUITER USING HIS REAL FULL NAME AND EMAIL cc @girlziplocked for the list pic.twitter.com/qvAX2HLTZX

— Kelly Ellis (@justkelly_ok) March 13, 2015

I’m going to leave aside the possibility that this is a plot by someone else to ruin Justin D’Agostino’s life by forging an email to Kelly Ellis, as I’ve seen similar sentiments posted too many times (i.e. more than never), and I’m fucking sick of it.

Assuming for a moment that the egg-donor hypothesis is correct, if you are insufficiently evolved to control your urges (or if you share any of the opinions stated in the email above), then you are insufficiently evolved to warrant employment. Please leave and make room for someone else.

Simon Lyall: Books for Sale – Part 2

Sun, 2015-03-15 13:28

I’m doing a book clean-out. The following are all for sale. Remainders will be given away to charity or something. Pickup is from either my house (Dominion Rd/Balmoral, Auckland) or my I can meet during the week near my work in Wyndham Street in the Auckland CBD.

Prices as mark, discount if you want to by more than 5 or so. Links may not match the exact edition I am selling.

If you are interested in any please contact me via email ( simon@darkmere.gen.nz ) or over twitter ( @slyall ). Sale will run to end of April or so.

See Part 1 for more books

Business

Commentary / Opinion / Speculation / Politics

Technical

Travel / Misc

 

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Simon Lyall: Books for sale – Part 1

Sun, 2015-03-15 12:28

I’m doing a book clean-out. The following are all for sale. Remainders will be given away to charity or something. Pickup is from either my house (Dominion Rd/Balmoral, Auckland) or my I can meet during the week near my work in Wyndham Street in the Auckland CBD.

Prices as mark, discount if you want to by more than 5 or so. Links may not match the exact edition I am selling.

If you are interested in any please contact me via email ( simon@darkmere.gen.nz ) or over twitter ( @slyall ) Sale will run to end of April or so.

See Part 2 for more books

Science Fiction / Fantasy

Deryni Books by Katherine Kurtz, all paperbacks of used quality unless otherwise named.

  • Deryni Rising – $4
  • Deryni Checkmate – $4
  • High Deryni – $4
  • Camber of Culdi (2 copies) -$4 each
  • The Bishops Heir (Hardback, ripped jacket) – $4
  • The Quest for Saint Camber – $4
  • The Deryni Archives – $4

Science Fiction Short Story Collections

Sci-Fi Novels

Other Fiction

History

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Andrew McDonnell: hacksa2015 – we won!

Sat, 2015-03-14 23:27

The previous week we were informed that we were the winners of the first hacksa competition!

This was really awesome, we had put in a bit of work that week and it validates my ideas about how to approach a hackathon I blogged about previously . You can see our proof of concept web application at http://phaze.space

I think what helped us over the line was that we had a working web application that actually ‘did something’, or a ‘minimum viable product’ in the parlance: we demonstrated the primary user experience ( generate musical playlists when you don’t know what to choose ) along with various potential features illustrated by button placeholders.

There was a cash prize, and some music, and headphones, and a membership in a co-working space which we donated to the runner-up because we all have day jobs and wouldn’t be able to use it.  For me though the best prize was tickets to the NetWorkPlay conference held in Adelaide last week.  This was a completely different scene, this was a media industry conference (mostly documentary film-makers, and a mix of other film industry and media) and I met some different and quite interesting people.

One takeaway from NetWorkPlay as a software guy was research showing that most younger people directly use youtube as a search engine instead of google when searching for media. This was interesting, my first instinct (habit?)  is using google or other ‘traditional’ search engines even when searching for videos that ends up with me on YouTube anyway. A learned quite a few other interesting things, and more importantly had to move out of my comfort zone and had a good time interacting with people I would never have likely crossed paths with.

So thanks to my team members (you know who you are) for an awesome effort, and I’m looking forward to govhack 2015!

I’d also like to thank the competition organisers, including madeinkatana.com , SA Music Development Office, Musitec and Flinders New Ventures Institute, and the sponsors for the generous prizes.

Brendan Scott: brendanscott

Sat, 2015-03-14 21:30

Today is π day, at least in the US, where they think it’s a good idea to order dates by neither most nor least significant digits (3/14/15). The 14th of March is hailed in geekiness as π day because, in US date representations it’s 3.14 – the first 3 digits of the constant π.  However, today isn’t just any old π day. Today is a super π day because the two digits of the year 3.14.15 make up the 3rd and 4th decimal places of the constant.

Make the most of your super π day, because it won’t be happening again!

Unless, that is, you decide, perhaps temporarily, to join some Orthodox Churches and observe the Julian calendar, in which case you can have your π and eat it again in 13 days’ time.



Lev Lafayette: Response to "Adopting Microservices at Netflix: Lessons for Team and Process Design"

Sat, 2015-03-14 08:30

NGINX has released an article entitled Adopting Microservices at Netflix: Lessons for Team and Process Design. For a high level article it reads well, but closer consideration suggests that it fraught with problems, not the least some rather simplistic panacea attitudes.

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Linux Users of Victoria (LUV) Announce: LUV Beginners April Meeting: What's in the Cloud?

Fri, 2015-03-13 16:29
Start: Apr 18 2015 12:30 End: Apr 18 2015 16:30 Start: Apr 18 2015 12:30 End: Apr 18 2015 16:30 Location: 

RMIT Building 91, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton South

Link:  http://luv.asn.au/meetings/map

Daniel Jitnah will have a look at virtualisation technology in Linux, including a brief demo of setting up and managing virtual machines. Then he will talk about what "the cloud" really is and its relation to virtualisation and will demonstrate a very simple cloud system: OpenNebula... just as an example. He'll also have a look at what are the common offerings for Linux based cloud software systems.

LUV would like to acknowledge Red Hat for their help in obtaining the Buzzard Lecture Theatre venue and VPAC for hosting.

Linux Users of Victoria Inc., is an incorporated association, registration number A0040056C.

April 18, 2015 - 12:30

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Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Thu, 2015-03-12 18:28

Walked into work fairly early.

Dead tired by the end of the day.

Signed onto sleepio to give them a burl. Looks like they’d like me to get a fitbit..



Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Wed, 2015-03-11 18:28

Awful day.

Sleep was disrupted by neighbours moving their cars around at two thirty am to make way for builders coming. Why two thirty? fucked if I know.

Finally dragged myself out of bed tired and headachy, headed into work.

Did manage to get some stuff done at work before the jack hammering started, and I left immediately in the early afternoon.

Struggling to stay awake till a sensible hour while catching up on a few of these here diary entries.



Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Wed, 2015-03-11 18:28

Walked home.

Conference stuff.



Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Wed, 2015-03-11 18:28

Walked into work stupidly early.

Home early, straight to bed.



Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Wed, 2015-03-11 18:28

Library day.



Filed under: diary