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Richard Jones: Compiling cx_Oracle on OS X

Mon, 2014-08-11 14:25

Occasionally I need to compile cx_Oracle on OS X and the 32- and 64-bit worlds collide head-on in a mess of "implicit conversion shortens 64-bit value into a 32-bit value" and "file was built for unsupported file format which is not the architecture being linked (x86_64)" errors.

I keep forgetting the various steps needed to make this work correctly so here they are:

  1. Create a virtualenv with a python interpreter stripped to 32-bit only. In the virtualenv bin directory ($WORKON_HOME/name_of_virtualenv/bin): % mv python python.fat % lipo python.fat -remove x86_64 -output python Doing this saves all the hassles of that "arch", "VERSIONER_PYTHON_PREFER_32_BIT" and "defaults write blah blah" guff and doesn't affect any other virtualenvs.
  2. Now that we have a "thin" Python compatible with the Oracle library, we can build cx_Oracle. Unfortunately even though Python is thin its configuration is not so we need to force things using an obscure environment variable that distutils will pick up: ARCHFLAGS="-arch i386" pip install cx_Oracle

There, that was easy, wasn't it?

Richard Jones: Cheese Shop (PyPI) sprinting at PyCon AU

Mon, 2014-08-11 14:25

We've had a fun couple of days sprinting on the Cheese Shop at PyCon AU where a number of contributors have fixed bugs and improved or added features (though always with the goal of keeping the service simple of course.)

In particular:

  1. Andy Todd helped clean up some aspects of the underlying database and fix up some of the sql.
  2. Capel Brunker added some more XML-RPC functionality, performed some tracker triage and also addressed some bugs and security issues.
  3. Kaleb Ufton, in his first contribution to Open Source development, added a bug tracker URL field to packages (which persists across releases and you must enter by editing through the website.) He also helped me sort out some twisted Apache configuration issues.
  4. I finally got around to writing the "newest packages" RSS feed.

There's another secret project we kicked off that will hopefully appear in the next couple of days, and some additional work that will hopefully come to fruition within a week or so. Stay tuned :-)

Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Ian Wienand: Finding out if you're a Rackspace instance

Mon, 2014-08-11 10:26

Different hosting providers do things slightly differently, so it's sometimes handy to be able to figure out where you are. Rackspace is based on Xen and their provided images should include the xenstore-ls command available. xenstore-ls vm-data will give you a handy provider and even region fields to let you know where you are.

function is_rackspace { if [ ! -f /usr/bin/xenstore-ls ]; then return 1 fi /usr/bin/xenstore-ls vm-data | grep -q "Rackspace" } if is_rackspace; then echo "I am on Rackspace" fi

Other reading about how this works:

Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2014-08-04 to 2014-08-10

Mon, 2014-08-11 01:26

Colin Charles: MySQLNoSQLCloud 2014 – Edition #3

Sun, 2014-08-10 19:25

I’ve enjoyed visiting Buenos Aires once a year for the MySQLNoSQLCloud event, put together by the awesome people at Binlogic (in particular, their proprietor Santiago Lertora). It’s happening again in 2014, which by my count is the third edition, and there’s a twist: Buenos Aires on 13 & 14 November, and Cordoba on 17 November. It’s never been held in Cordoba before (like an annex event), so I think this could be extremely exciting.

If you’re looking to speak, send Santiago a note at events@binlogic.com (or leave a message here). I’ll put you in touch with him. If you’re looking to sponsor, you get attendees from all over Latin America.

Related posts:

  1. Upcoming MariaDB/MySQL events: Tokyo, Buenos Aires
  2. Sun Systems Tour; MyGOSSCON
  3. MySQL Community Awards: Community Contributor of the Year 2014

Russell Coker: Being Obviously Wrong About Autism

Sun, 2014-08-10 03:26

I’m watching a Louis Theroux documentary about Autism (here’s the link to the BBC web site [1]). The main thing that strikes me so far (after watching 7.5 minutes of it) is the bad design of the DLC-Warren school for Autistic kids in New Jersey [2].

A significant portion of people on the Autism Spectrum have problems with noisy environments, whether most Autistic people have problems with noise depends on what degree of discomfort is considered a problem. But I think it’s reasonable to assume that the majority of kids on the Autism Spectrum will behave better in a quiet environment. So any environment that is noisy will cause more difficult behavior in most Autistic kids and the kids who don’t have problems with the noise will have problems with the way the other kids act. Any environment that is more prone to noise pollution than is strictly necessary is hostile to most people on the Autism Spectrum and all groups of Autistic people.

The school that is featured in the start of the documentary is obviously wrong in this regard. For starters I haven’t seen any carpet anywhere. Carpeted floors are slightly more expensive than lino but the cost isn’t significant in terms of the cost of running a special school (such schools are expensive by private-school standards). But carpet makes a significant difference to ambient noise.

Most of the footage from that school included obvious echos even though they had an opportunity to film when there was the least disruption – presumably noise pollution would be a lot worse when a class finished.

It’s not difficult to install carpet in all indoor areas in a school. It’s also not difficult to install rubber floors in all outdoor areas in a school (it seems that most schools are doing this already in play areas for safety reasons). For a small amount of money spent on installing and maintaining noise absorbing floor surfaces the school could achieve better educational results. The next step would be to install noise absorbing ceiling tiles and wallpaper, that might be a little more expensive to install but it would be cheap to maintain.

I think that the hallways in a school for Autistic kids should be as quiet as the lobby of a 5 star hotel. I don’t believe that there is any technical difficulty in achieving that goal, making a school look as good as an expensive hotel would be expensive but giving it the same acoustic properties wouldn’t be difficult or expensive.

How do people even manage to be so wrong about such things? Do they never seek any advice from any adult on the Autism Spectrum about how to run their school? Do they avoid doing any of the most basic Google searches for how to create a good environment for Autistic people? Do they just not care at all and create an environment that looks good to NTs? If they are just trying to impress NTs then why don’t they have enough pride to care that people like me will know how bad they are? These aren’t just rhetorical questions, I’d like to know what’s wrong with those people that makes them do their jobs in such an amazingly bad way.

Related posts:

  1. Autism and a Child Beauty Contest Fenella Wagener wrote an article for the Herald Sun about...
  2. Autism, Food, etc James Purser wrote “Stop Using Autism to Push Your Own...
  3. Communication Shutdown and Autism The AEIOU Foundation The AEIOU Foundation [1] is a support...

Maxim Zakharov: So tango

Sat, 2014-08-09 14:25

I feel happy returning home at 2am last night catching the last train from the city. I’ve been to my first milonga, dancing and watching real life tango for almost 5 hours. It was an amazing experience!

Half year ago I’ve thought I can not dance at all. It is changing since then with the help of Sophia de Lautour (Alvarez), my tango instructor, who is passionate about tango, very friendly and patient teaching someone who was not born to dance. If you wish to try learn tango, especially in North Sydney or Eastern suburbs, please take a look on the web-site of her school: So Tango: tango classes and private lessons in Sydney.

The topping of the evening were 3 tangos performed by Natalia Hill and Alejandro Aquino who showed the art of tango haute couture. Watch them dancing in Taipei last year:

Brendan Scott: brendanscott

Fri, 2014-08-08 23:29

In July I got an update to Android on my phone (an otherwise wonderful Galaxy Note 3).  It’s not awful, but the choices it has made are very annoying. In particular:

* email – I cannot now just have my email update when I click the refresh icon because I need to have auto sync data enabled.  So to have manual syncing of data I need to go into settings ->connections->data usage, press the menu button, select “auto sync data”, then go to my email app and click its refresh icon (then, technically, go back again to turn off auto sync again)

* wifi – everything is now dependent upon whether or not I’m connected to wifi, because, if I’m connected to wifi everything must be ok right? Well, you genii, who put wifi hotspot functionality into my phone? Now, I can’t actually use my wifi hotspot without worrying whether my tablet is going to auto-download a ton of stuff and blow my cap when I least expect it.  Thanks, thanks a lot.

* internet – I used to be able to have a number of windows open, and scroll through the open ones.  Now only my last _four_ are visible.  What the hay?  Sort of undermines the point of being able to have a number of windows open much? (Internet in general has a heap of odd design choices – forcing new tabs to open in the foreground being a pet hate)

* background data – if I want to have background data restriction on it puts a permanent notification in the notification bar.  Get that junk out of there. I’m a responsible adult for heaven’s sake.

* wifi direct (not actually from the update): why can’t I use wifi to transfer files directly between my phone and tablet without without going via a third router?  My phone can act as a wifi hotspot, why do I have to connect both devices to a third device?

These mind boggling UI choices make me wonder what’s going on with Android and whether it’s turned a corner – the wrong corner.

 

 

 



Andrew Pollock: [life] Day 191: A quiet day at home, Science Friday returns

Fri, 2014-08-08 23:25

Zoe woke up at 2:30am because she'd lost Cowie, and then woke up at 6am for the day. It took some effort to get out of bed this morning.

Getting out of the shower, I received a call from a trainer at the REIQ this morning saying I'd officially passed the registration block of my real estate license training. I'll get a Certificate of Registration, which is the bare minimum to work in the Real Estate industry soon. I took a moment to reflect on the fact that I've only been working on this for about 3 months, so it's a nice milestone and achievement. I've got plenty more units to do to get my full licence though.

Zoe was a bit more sniffly today, so I thought a quiet day at home was in order. I haven't done Science Friday since we got back from our US trip, mostly due to lack of planning. I wasn't that much more prepared today, but I did think of it earlier in the day, so we did a couple of things.

First up, we tried a twist on the old "vinegar and sodium bicarbonate" one that we've done in the past. This time, we filled a balloon with the sodium bicarbonate, and put some vinegar in the bottom of an empty 2 litre soft drink bottle. We put the balloon on the neck of the bottle and allowed the sodium bicarbonate to fall into the bottle. We got enough gas from the reaction to inflate the balloon, although some leaked out around the thread on the neck. Zoe was impressed.

I've also had two jars of polyvinyl alcohol solution sitting in the fridge since we last tried making slime, so it was a pretty easy one to just make another batch of slime. This time Zoe chose yellow.

Zoe wanted to work on the cardboard box robot she's been on and off wanting to make, but after a trip to the compost bin, it was time for lunch. After a fairly sizeable meltdown, we had some lunch.

I couldn't find my Leatherman after lunch, so we couldn't work on the robot anyway, so we read some books instead. Zoe wanted to read her Grug books, so I decided it was a good day to surprise her with the plush Grug that I'd purchased on impulse last year and squirreled away.

After some reading, I thought I'd try and get her to take a nap, so I told her that she could sleep in my bed and I'd read for a bit. She liked that idea and was in my bed faster than you could say "Jack Robinson". After reading some e-books, she fell asleep pretty quickly, and I used the couple of hours to catch up on some reading.

She woke up a little bit grumpy, but perked up after some TV and afternoon tea and then Sarah arrived to pick her up. It was nice to have a quiet day at home. The only time we left the house was to visit the compost bin.