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Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2015-02-16 to 2015-02-22

Mon, 2015-02-23 01:27

Michael Still: Geocaching

Sun, 2015-02-22 20:28
I've been trapped at home with either a sick child or a sick me for the last four or five days. I was starting to go a bit stir crazy, so I ducked out for some local geocaching. An enjoyable shortish walk around the nearby nature park.

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog canberra tuggeranong bushwalk geocaching

Related posts: Another lunch time walk; Lunchtime geocaching; Big Monks; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; Geocaching in the evening, the second; Geocaching in the evening


Francois Marier: Error while running "git gc"

Sun, 2015-02-22 19:31

If you see errors like these while trying to do garbage collection on a git repository:

$ git gc warning: reflog of 'refs/heads/synced/master' references pruned commits warning: reflog of 'refs/heads/annex/direct/master' references pruned commits warning: reflog of 'refs/heads/git-annex' references pruned commits warning: reflog of 'refs/heads/master' references pruned commits warning: reflog of 'HEAD' references pruned commits error: Could not read a4909371f8d5a38316e140c11a2d127d554373c7 fatal: Failed to traverse parents of commit 334b7d05087ed036c1a3979bc09bcbe9e3897226 error: failed to run repack

then the reflog may be pointing to corrupt entries.

They can be purged by running this:

$ git reflog expire --all --stale-fix

Thanks to Joey Hess for pointing me in the right direction while debugging a git-annex problem.

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-22 16:28

Waking up at two for no discernible reason.

Breakfast with C was a better start to the morning.

Afternoon at The Edge doing conference stuff.

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-22 16:28

Coder Dojo down at Sunnybank Hill library. Quite exhausting after a bad night’s sleep!

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-22 15:28

Walked to work.

Caught up with a C after work, as a surprise thing rather than a planned thing.

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-22 15:28

A bit of a nothing apart from work day.

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-22 15:28

Walked to and from work, in an attempt to have a good night sleep tonight..

Tropical Cyclone Marcia has degenerated to a tropical low and is hovering around Brisbane today, making for a lot of rain. I quite like walking in the wet, as long as I’ve got my wet weather gear. Most of the work colleagues are cats and stayed home.

Conference planning later at The Edge.

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-22 15:28

Walked to and from work today.

Doing some conference planning later on.

Filed under: diary

Michael Still: Command and Control

Sat, 2015-02-21 15:29

ISBN: 9780141037912


I finished this book a while ago and it appears that I forgot to write it up. This book is by the author of Fast Food Nation and it is just as good as his other book. The history of America's nuclear weapons and their security (or lack thereof) is as compelling as it is terrifying. I found this book hard to put down while reading it, and would recommend it to others.

Tags for this post: book eric_schlosser nuclear weapons safety

Related posts: Random linkage; Fast Food Nation; Starfish Prime; Why you should stand away from the car when the cop tells you to; Random fact for the day; More nuclear bunkers Comment Recommend a book

Chris Samuel: Systemd joke

Sat, 2015-02-21 15:26

Since a few people seemed to like it on Twitter..

.@kartar "How many systemd's does it take to change a lightbulb?" "WHAT? SYSTEMD CHANGES LIGHTBULBS NOW? IS THERE NO END TO THIS INSANITY?"

— Chris Samuel (@chris_bloke) February 19, 2015

This item originally posted here:

Systemd joke

Michael Still: Forster trig

Sat, 2015-02-21 12:28
Its been too long since I've attempted a trig walk -- 15 days to be exact. That's mostly because I've been really busy at work these last couple of weeks. That said, it was time for another trig, and this one was a bit of an adventure.

Forster Trig is in the Bullen Nature Reserve and is one of the least urban trigs I've attempted so far, which is why this post is a bit more detailed than normal. Big Monks is probably the other trig walk most similar to this one. One of the challenges with this trig is that there is no track to the trig point. Reading John Evan's walk notes from his single assent of this trig, it seems that many people follow the 132kV power lines to the trig, but I consider this "cheating" as the power line is on private land and I didn't want to spend effort on getting permission to walk on someone's farm.

Instead, I followed the Kambah Pool to Cassurina Sands track, and then turned right to bush bash to the trig when I got reasonably close. There wasn't any formed track this way, so I don't think this is a common approach. On the map you'll notice a fence marked -- that's where I had to jump a barbed wire fence, which wasn't the best plan ever. On the way back down from the summit I found a vehicle track, and I'd recommend that others follow that route (the one on the map with two gates marked and some stairs). The stairs are interesting -- a previous walker has mounded stones on both sides of the fence to make it easier to cross.

Either way, its a bush bash up the hill itself, which is covered in reasonably dense spiky vegetation. You're going to want gaiters or long pants.


Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog pictures 20150220-forster_trig photo canberra tuggeranong bushwalk trig_point

Related posts: Big Monks; A walk around Mount Stranger; Two trigs and a first attempt at finding Westlake; Taylor Trig; Oakey trig; Urambi Trig


Michael Still: Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker

Wed, 2015-02-18 22:28
I was an orienteering marker for the kid's scout troop tonight -- I guess it could have been a trick, but I think they were genuine. The basic idea was I went and stood at where the mark on the map was, and then noted which kids found me. Nice little hill in MacArthur, with pleasant views. I think I've found a good place for a geocache as well.

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog canberra bushwalk tuggeranong

Related posts: Big Monks; Geocaching; Point Hut Cross to Pine Island; A walk around Mount Stranger; Another lunch time walk; Forster trig


Michael Still: Little Black Mountain

Wed, 2015-02-18 09:28
I went on a walk on Monday with the Canberra Bushwalking Club up Little Black Mountain. Its a nice area and I mostly enjoyed the walk. I say mostly because the walk leader was quite un-welcoming. There was the lecture about emergency beacons, and then the lecture about how he's never been bitten by a snake. It was quite an odd experience. I think I might avoid that leader in the future.

Interactive map for this route.

Tags for this post: blog canberra bushwalk

Related posts: Goodwin trig; Big Monks; Geocaching; Confessions of a middle aged orienteering marker; A quick walk through Curtin; Narrabundah trig and 16 geocaches


Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Tue, 2015-02-17 18:28

Bus to work, after discovering that I had no spare clothes at work, somehow. That won’t be a problem for a couple of weeks now.

Horrible nights sleep meant I had to skip the new software engineering meetup.

Filed under: diary

Andrew McDonnell: Expanding Horizons

Mon, 2015-02-16 23:27

Looking back, I do seem to blog a lot about the software & open source technology!

I do have wider interests though, I read widely & ponder about space technology, graph theory & network science, open data, math, economics, history, politics, or anything really. I find that taking the time to learn about new and unrelated topics, just like taking the time to meet new people with different interests, tends to increase the chance of serendipitous opportunities, or provide “outside the square” insights into problems I am currently working on.

Everyone has Jargon

Along with last months foray into music & content, I have been studying the tech startup economy. I find it fascinating learning how to decode the jargon, and I guess I experienced a bit of what other people probably get when relating to IT / software developer people :-)  One thing I discovered is the extent to which the startup scene itself has spawned an industry built on servicing the startups and the venture capital firms that provide funding. Whether this is an indication of a maturing market since the days of the DotCom boom, time will tell.

The startup industry has a cross-over into open source. Many new businesses are founded using open source: nearly every web app that is not a pure Microsoft build would be using some combination of open source tools (and the Microsoft Azure service supports Linux); many provide premium services related to an open source product which helps spur further development in that product.  I think this is a good thing for open technology generally as it benefits the entire community, not just that business, as would be the case with a purely closed product.  By contributing to open source, the business can concentrate on value adding around its core “thing” whilst leveraging the community in a two-way effort to improve the overall software ecosystem.  Paraphrasing Bob Young from one of the keynotes, open source is a long term form of barter benefiting everyone.

Another cross-over is the Lean Startup methodology. A friend dragged me along to a workshop the other week, and it was really interesting to see some of the parallels with agile software development.

In Adelaide there is a growing niche / tech startup community which I think is refreshing and important to the future of this city, for so long  heavily reliant on either the vanishing manufacturing sector, the illusory and fading mining boom, or the defence sector so often cut at the whim of a government.  High technology must form a core of our economy into the future if we are to remain a vibrant state!  I have become more aware of this since participating in the hackathons, which although a fun activity for myself, often cross-over into the startup community.

Sharing the Load

One discovery I made is AngelList Syndicates, a way of letting small investors pool funds and invest small amounts (say, in the order of $1000-$5000) into high tech startups. This is probably not for the novice investor, but I would not be averse to investing a percentage of my superannuation into this area.  I will be doing quite a bit more research first however, to try and get a better handle on the investment risk, and the impact of Australian superannuation law! I found available information about the many small and non-listed technology companies, largely US based, but also in Australia,  opaque to say the least.

As part my research I am subscribed to a few startup sector  mailing lists, interestingly this has led me to discover quite a few new websites or technology services I would not otherwise have found  about.  I try out a lot of free web apps, but usually skip the paid services because I cant justify the cost at this point.  Sometimes there are trial offers for various services though, and I came across one interesting site, Mattermark, that claimed to track private and startup companies, many of the kind found on AngelList.  I asked some questions about whether it was relevant to my interests in Australia and along the way ended up having email conversation with one of the developers which was actually really pretty cool, so I figured I’d give it a go.

Trial Run

After I accessed the web app, obviously the first thing I did was find the Location menu and switch to Australia :-)

This produced a spreadsheet-like display with companies in rows, and various metrics across the columns. I was quite surprised to recognise several businesses I knew, such as CoinJar, muru-D and other companies I didn’t even realise were Australian, such as Canva. Oddly the NSW Greens were reported as a company despite being a political party.  It seems Mattermark uses in machine learning to aggregate data from multiple feeds, and there were not too many other oddities, so having only one or two out of place entries in such a large database is pretty good.

Companies are initially ranked by ‘Growth Score‘ a term I had to research, and it seems to be a metric combining funding and employee count with social media and downloads, all things I presume are important to measuring a business growth in a period where it might not be producing much revenue as yet.

Another search I tried was ‘Space Travel’, which was provided as one of many possible categories.  This was very interesting to me because I keep coming across new space commercialisation ventures on twitter, but seeing a whole pile of them listed in one place was rather exciting. (As in, the future is finally nearly here!)

In fact there are rather a lot of categories!

I have some screenshots but until I get around to posting them there is a video showing how it might be used by its primary customer base on Youtube.

I regularly canvass LinkedIn for interesting & local technology businesses, for networking opportunities and community event promotion, but that can be hit and miss. I think Mattermark could be a helpful complement to that, although the subscription is too pricey for me in my situation as a hobbyist / small investor.  This would likely be a useful tool for anyone working in the startup services industry or dealing with managing investments but if thats your thing you should probably do your own research and take the trial for a spin rather than relying on my opinion as an amateur.

Now, hopefully I’ll find something to blog about in space technology soon!


Sridhar Dhanapalan: Twitter posts: 2015-02-09 to 2015-02-15

Mon, 2015-02-16 01:27

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-15 15:28

Felt rather ill after Humbug, I’m assuming it was the sushi place at Sunnybank yesterday.

Catching up on these here diary notes..

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-15 15:28

My first CoderDojo down at Sunnybank Hills.

I find the connection between shopping centres and libraries rather confusing, for former are loud, commercial and horrible places, very different to the latter.

I think the CoderDojo group went well, with some obvious room for improvement. Don’t try to lecture kids, give them a small, simple instruction and get them doing stuff immediately. One slide, one thing to try. If a kid has interest in a subject, don’t try to teach them something else, and that goes for both parents and teachers.

Have been asked to help with a Python course in the next few weeks..

Humbug later that night, some discussion with Russell around the sponsor prospectus.

Filed under: diary

Clinton Roy: clintonroy

Sun, 2015-02-15 15:28

Early morning walk to work.

A little bit of anatomy work later at The Edge.

Filed under: diary