Sundry, Testimonials

Ahhhh, Groupthink!

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/04/yay-groupthink/

Mom and Grandma came to town last week. They did dig the scenery, the thrift stores and Walnut Creek’s quilting shop. We didn’t make it to Napa, or drive along the coast, but it is good to have things to do for next time. We did make it out to Alameda to see Joyce and Harlyn, and we parked behind a bumper sticker that read “IMPEACHMENT HELL GET A ROPE” which Mom got a good chuckle from. She recounted this to Joyce, who is working now for theological scholars, and she answered that one thing she likes about her job is that even though she is a non-believer among serious religious folks, they feel the same about President George, whereas if one were to express themselves at the bank where she worked previously, that might cause some discord.

And, while I like to have intelligent people I can argue with, it is nice to come to work and rap with our office manager, an intelligent person who offers that Monday has been magnified by the shift to Summer Time, and I demure “oh, don’t get me started on my rant about Daylight Savings Time,” and she goes “oh, I hate it too.” So, I got to rant a bit, “if you think waking up earlier is a good idea, then wake up earlier! Don’t screw up the clocks!” It felt good.

The rant was augmented by some research I did on a lazy Sunday after dropping the folks at the airport. Because of this, it may at some point be composed in to an essay which I may post here, or at kuro5hin.org. And yes, I know it is called “Daylight Saving Time” without the s.

Oh, by the way, you WordPress users might want to go in to the Options menu to manually decrement your UTC, as WordPress doesn’t have a proper notion of timezones.


FreeBSD, Technical

FAQ: How do you measure swap utilization in FreeBSD?

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/05/freebsd-faq-measure-swap/

Q: How do you measure swap utilization in FreeBSD? (Assuming you are writing a script to gather performance metrics.)

A: If you are writing a C program, check kvm_getswapinfo(3) and maybe take a gander at the bottom of /usr/src/usr.bin/top/machine.c.

A: If you are writing a Perl script:

Measure swap activity:
sysctl vm.stats.vm.v_swapin vm.stats.vm.v_swapout vm.stats.vm.v_swappgsin vm.stats.vm.v_swappgsout
(I believe these results are COUNTER type values, like you get from netstat -inb. You could establish “swap activity” by plotting changes in this value.)

Measure swap size:

0-13:38 djh@mito ~> swapinfo
Device          1K-blocks     Used    Avail Capacity
/dev/ad0s1b       1022224        0  1022224     0%
0-13:38 djh@mito ~> swapctl -l
Device:       1024-blocks     Used:
/dev/ad0s1b     1022224         0

If you are trying to accomodate n+1 swap devices, try this:

0-13:44 djh@mito ~> swapctl -lsk
Device:       1024-blocks      Used:
/dev/ad0s1b      1022224          0
Total:           1022224          0

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Language, Sundry


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/06/kwiruto/

I recently caught myself typing the word “quilt” when I meant to refer to a “kilt” because Yayoi’s pronunciation merges the two together. They say that married couples eventually start to look like each other, but it is a bit different to have your language start morphing on you.

Which brings up a different anecdote. When I was young I overheard some British people refer to the process of “repatriation.” I later learned that this is because they were “ex-patriots.” It seemed kind of harsh that these people should be treated as ex-patriots simply for spending some time in a foreign country. (In America, “patriot” means Paul Revere, and anyone who becomes an ex, in need of re, is not someone you would respect.) I wondered if repatriation involved classes on the Monarchy and Parliament and other stuff to get the Americanness out of their systems, and if this was common for people returning to their countries — If I ever left, would I have to attend classes and re-take the Constitution test before I could be trusted to behave as an American again?

With time and an improved understanding of Latin word roots, I figured that they had been referring to the process of repatriating expatriates. There is no English word “patriate” but in Spanish and French the patria is the country-side, derived from Latin pater, for father . . . so, the land of your father. (The derivation of “patriot” is similiar.)

English is a twisted, gnarly language, even for native speakers, so if I should mistake a “kilt” for a “quilt” because my wife can’t wrap her tongue around the kw- sound, it is only fair.



Worth Watching: current.tv

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/07/current-tv/

A while back, Al Gore bought a cable channel that replayed foreign news broadcasts. Yayoi and I used to watch the English-language Japanese news broadcast from Tokyo. Pretty groovy. Though, they never could keep to a straight schedule.

Well, this puppy has had time to incubate and morph in to a new creature, that will air short videos of between two and five minutes, and they are inviting viewers to submit content. Sort of television meets Internet blogging.

If you visit their web site, at http://www.current.tv/, you can sample the very first fruits of this effort. Unfortunately the web site requires Shockwave and you can not, as far as I can tell, sit back and watch the videos full-screen. Nevermind that . . . you can watch short videos from the winners of their first contest on there, and you’ll see things like: (more…)

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Excerpts, Politics

Business versus Government

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/08/biz-vs-gov/

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on the contrast between business and government:

“In government, everyone thinks that in business you say jump and everybody jumps. That’s not the way a good company is run. Good companies are run by leaders who delegate and build consensus. In business, people think that everybody in government is lazy and incompetent. That’s also not true.”


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Taxes Done!

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/10/taxes-done/

You know, doing taxes really isn’t that bad. And, if my math was correct, we will receive a substantial refund with which to pay off much of our credit card debt. I skipped the state taxes, because I was in two states, and each wants to see the paperwork for the other, and, well, I would likely receive modest refunds that would otherwise go to fund schools, or something. But mostly I am just lazy.

The Illinois web site says you can file until October. (more…)

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Good Reads

Best Buy and the $2 Bill

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/12/best-buy-2-dollar-bill/

I just read the most stunningly bizarre story in the Baltimore Sun. It is about Mike Bolesta, who bought a car stereo for his son, but Best Buy gave him one that was too big for the car, then offered him a cheaper one, waiving the installation fee because they shouldn’t have sold him the wrong one in the first place. Then they called him up and said that if he didn’t pay the installation fee, they would call the cops. So, irritated, he goes in there the next day and pays in $2 bills.

He gets arrested.

Not only is every last employee at that Best Buy stupid, but the Baltimore Police are evidently wack-jobs as well. After some hours in handcuffs and leg irons the Secret Service comes along and explains that his currency is legal-tender, and that yes, it is not unheard of for a bit of ink to rub off of legitimate US currency.

ObTip: Use BugMeNot to bypass compulsory registration. It actually took me a few tries.

ObIdealism: stratusmonkey declares April 13th is “Two Dollar Bill Day” to commemorate the life and career of President Jefferson, and remind the American public that the paper money bearing his likeness is legal tender.

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Free Style

Inappropriate Size

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/13/inappropriate-size/

Things of inappropriate size
We find them funny
But if my nose were runny
Would I still be your honey?

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The Poet Blacksmith

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/14/blacksmith-poet/

There was this poet, who decided to retire from poetry.
He went and enrolled in blacksmithing school.
He learned all about smithing, and pounding, and metals and all that, and became a master blacksmith.
He was later interviewed by The New Yorker magazine, and was asked,
“Why did you leave poetry to become a blacksmith?”


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Technology, Testimonials


Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/15/gnucash/

Said I: “Personally, managing pictures is one of the three things I do with my Windows computer. (The other two are games and Quicken.)”

Asked another: Quicken? Have you looked into gnucash?

I replied: (more…)

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Sticky Riddle

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/18/sticky-riddle/

What is long and brown and sticky?


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Sundry, Technology

Flickr Schwag

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/19/flickr-schwag/

Color-Enhanced Mount Diablo
A color-enhanced view of Mount Diablo from the foothills above Walnut Creek. The rain has made things green and a quick trip to the GIMP only emphasizes this.

So, I recently bit the bullet and bought a Pro account on Flickr. They’ll store my images for me in high-resolution, with a pretty nifty, pretty zippy interface to manage them. The community-building features have been a pleasant ego surprise — one photo I uploaded from when I was flying in to London on September 11, 2002 was found by a guy who could see his house in the photograph. (more…)

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Yayoi’s Warning

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/20/yayoi-warning/

I woke up Sunday morning from a dream in which Yayoi had just warned me, “if I were made redundant, I would become one thousand times an alcoholic.”

As my conscious brain began to mull this over, I noticed several problems with this vignette:

Otherwise, I totally feel her pain at being layed off . . . what was my subconscious mind doing?

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Technical, Technology, Testimonials

Graffiti-Covered Train

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/21/graffiti-train/

A graffiti covered train, in Lyon.

I have been uploading a lot of photos via Flickr lately. I purchased a “pro” account for $42/year (now $25/year) in part because they have a “blogging” interface with which one can post photographs to one’s blog.

They’ll also retain my original image files, and promise to get around to a “bulk download” facility so I can use them as a “disaster recovery” mechanism as well. On top of that, the site has nice features and is definitely zippy.

Anyway, I like this photograph. It is a train, covered in beautiful graffiti, in France. I like all that stuff. And I like that Flickr will store the image for me and provide an interface for re-posting it here.

I will be uploading many more photos over the next few months. All images taken in 2005 are online, and I’m making my way through the 2002 “World Tour” in alphabetical order right now. Flickr only allows me to upload 1GB/month, (actually, they just changed it to 2GB,) even with a Pro account. This is fine, because I have so many photos, I ought to take my time sorting through them.

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Study Shows Ignoring Dannyman is an Expensive “Faux Pas”

Link: https://dannyman.toldme.com/2005/04/22/i-am-all-powerful-muhaha/

Increasingly, prospective and existing customers are interacting with corporations electronically, both for research and purchasing purposes. Those that ignore online inquiries are alienating consumers–especially young “affluents,” the 24- to 33-year-olds earning $75,000 or above who are the heaviest Internet users (and most likely to be asking the questions). In fact, our research indicates that 70 percent of consumers go to a competitor’s site if they don’t receive a timely response to an online inquiry. And losing those customers is a faux pas few companies can afford.

I don’t really need to read the rest of this CNET article because I already know all I need. Companies, fear my “affluent” wrath!! MUHAHAHA!!

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