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June 2005 Archives

June 14, 2005

Boot to the head

I had a partial entry from about 2 weeks ago that I went back to finish tonight (my blog software lets you start an entry and complete it at a later point), but I couldn’t find it. Doh! Somehow it got lost in the bit bucket. So we’ll never know what happened during that time span…

But in the process, I found a partial log entry from January 2003! Yes, that’s right — 2003. So I completed that one.

Brian B. and I went to the Apple World Wide Developers’ Conference conference. I missed the keynote where Steve Jobs announced that Macs are switching to Intel chips in 2006, but got to see lots of other neat stuff anyway.

They had a handful of Intel-based Mac machines for developers there, so Brian and I tried to compile LAM/MPI and Open MPI just for the heckuvit. LAM/MPI compiled and ran right out of the box; Open MPI required a trivial change to one of its assembly routines (the assembler they use is a little stricter than the ones we’ve been using for development, apparently).

Jim A. decided to have his pesky appendix out last night. Well, it was more like his pesky appendix decided that it wanted out out out. Upper management, of course, conceeded to its demands and allowed the appendix to be removed.

All are now doing well.

For the past 3 days, I have been just about completely dehabilitated by the worst cold I have ever had in my life. I never thought that I could be completely laid up by a cold. It was basically quite difficult to breathe which made sleeping pretty much impossible. This escallated into a downward spiral of unpleasantness.

I finally got into the doctor today — praying and hoping for good drugs. Astonishingly, he is quite convinced that it’s allergies. Allergies! Yow!

I’ve always had some kind of hay fever (never bothered to figure out exactly what it was I was allergic to), but I’ve never had an allergic reaction anywhere near this strong. He gave me some good druggies and perscriptions, so we’ll see how they do. I feel somewhat closer to human now (several hours after taking them) than I have in the past few days, so I guess that’s promising.

WOPR (the squyres.com server) was hacked a week ago. Even worse, it was a trivial script-kiddie hack. Unbelievably, it’s a problem that had existed on WOPR for quite some time — all of us are amazed that it wasn’t hacked prior to this. None of us are admitting to putting the problem there; I’m pretty sure it was a covert job by Michael Jackson in celebration (probably in collaboration with his new bestest-buddy OJ Simpson).

The good news is that it looks like it was hacked by a total idiot who had no idea what he was doing, and therefore did no damage to our server. Still, we’re going through extensive restoration procedures anyway (this is what you do when you restore from a hack — because you have no idea what else may be hidden away). But all this takes time and effort (i.e., the better part of a day). Bonk.

Kaitlyn and Kathryn are motoring around now — they have a funny version of crawling. They stick one foot out and pull themselves forward with it, dragging their other leg behind. So they’re not crawling in the traditional sense (using both knees), but rather half-crab-walking. It’s funny to watch.

They’re also to the point where they “sorta” recognize each other as individuals. Every once in a while, they’ll look at each other and laugh, or perhaps they’ll do a call-and-response thing, perhaps while going to sleep (Kaitlyn: gaah… Kathryn: gaah… Kaitlyn: gaah… Kathryn: gaah… for about 20 minutes).

But other times they just see each other as moving obstacles that must be navigated over, under, or around. These are the funniest to watch — they recognize that the other is there and is a moving target, but they also recognize that the shortest path between their current position and where they want to go is through the other one, so they just start moving in that direction (Damn the torpedoes! Ramming speed!). We’ve seen some hilarious takedowns as a result of this.

Amusingly, the takedown-ee does not usually realize that she should be upset about this. Specifically, the takedown-er just plods over/under/through and the takedown-ee ends up with a confused look on her face, “Huh. A second ago, I was in a radically different position. Now I’m on the floor looking at the ceiling. Odd.”

I put up some short, amusing videos of the munchkins: http://jeff.squyres.com/pictures/ Click on the k-n-k album, then 2005, then June.

Are you wondering what “boot to the head” is in reference to? See this. (be sure to listen to the MP3; don’t just read the script)

June 15, 2005

Fluffy bunny

Note to self: brushing teeth with cool mint gel toothpaste immediately after finishing a honey-lemon cough drop — not a good idea.

June 23, 2005

Almost a year

I lost a 344 day uptime this morning (my Linux desktop had been up for 344 days without reboot):

[7:58] queeg:~/svn/ompi-0.9 % uptime
 08:31:51 up 344 days, 10:33,  3 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.20

I had ceiling fans installed in two bedrooms this morning. The circuit breakers in the basement were poorly labeled (“bedroom”); my home office (containing all my computers) is one of the “bedrooms,” so it was a total guess as to which breaker controlled which bedroom.

Unfortunately, I guessed poorly.

[9:08] queeg:~ % uptime
 09:08:15 up 31 min,  2 users,  load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00


June 25, 2005

Hell Dave, if I raised the budget every time the morale got low, the guys in my aespestos factory would be driving solid gold Cadillacs by now


  • 7:41am: FedEx.com reports that my new iMac is “On FedEx vehicle for delivery”. Woo hoo!
  • K-n-K are actively seeking each other out these days. If one crawls out of sight, a few minutes later, you can see the mental processes going on the other: “Hum. I don’t see my C* anywhere. I wonder where she is, what she’s doing, and what toys I can take from her?” She’ll then go actively go look for her sister and take whatever toys she has.
  • My XM MyFi radio is getting flaky. The power jack doesn’t always seem to make a proper connection with the power cord, leading the battery to die unexpectedly in the middle of a lengthy road trip. Arrgh.
  • The XM station BPM (dance/techno) sits on AOL IM to take requests. Cool.
  • A wise quote: “Wynn – yes; Chocolate Volcano - no.”
  • The maxivan told us it needed service the other day. Literally. Rather frightening, actually.
  • MPI attributes can bite me. They’re complicated, subtle, sometimes totally useless (why would you want to pass a pointer value to Fortran?) and have mistakes in the MPI standards. I’m convinced that there the Attributes subcommittee on the MPI Forum wrote most of their text during secret group crack sessions. But let’s be complete, for those of you who want to follow up:
  • We had some ceiling fans installed in two bedrooms recently (now all major rooms on the second floor have ceiling fans). The contractor installing them was checking the joists in the attic when he slipped and fell and sent his foot through the ceiling in the nursery. Doh! He was actually quite horrified and repeatedly apologized to me, promising that he’d make it right. He called a building subcontractor immediately who came right out did an appraisal and said he’d come back on Monday to fix it (the fan contractor is paying for the whole thing). Hopefully this will end well.
  • If all goes well, I’ll have an OS X Tiger license next week, with which I’ll upgrade my laptop.


I forgot to mention that I have recently re-enabled myself for PGP (encrypted) e-mail. I’ve really had no excuse not to, since the OSX Mail.app client has a great plugin for supporting it.

For anyone who cares, my current PGP key is available here.

Also, there is a very, very old public key of mine on the MIT PGP servers. It’s way out of date, I no longer have the secret key, and is therefore irrecovable. If you send me something with that key, I cannot read it. Just say no — use the key that is linked, above.

June 28, 2005

Super Karate Monkey Bummer

The signature-changing functionality of the MailEnhander plugin for OS X Mail.app doesn’t work with Tiger (10.4.1). This is a major bummer. The sig-changing functionality was the only reason that I used MailEnhancer.

It looks like Mail.app changed its behavior to aggressively reset the signature (presumably after MailEnhancer changed it).

What’s worse is that the author has disappeared. His web page has gone 404, and no one seemed to know where he is. So no one has the source code to MailEnhancer, and there’s a lot of other bummed users out there.


June 30, 2005

OS X Spotlight problem: solved

So we just recently got an iMac at home. After setting it all up, I was coonfused and disappointed that Spotlight (OS X’s new “search your whole computer” tool) was not finding keywords from most of my e-mails. It would find one or two e-mails from keywords that should have found dozens.

What the heck?

It took me a while to figure this out. I found help from the handy mdutil, mdfind, and mdimport man pages. The crux of the issue: Spotlight automatically ignored entire directory trees that have names that begin with a period (“.”). Doh!

Let me explain…

On my mail server, all the folders under my INBOX are stored in $HOME/.elm/Mail (only the crustier Unix folks reading this mail will recognize how old that is — I stopped using elm many years ago, but have always left my folders down there and directed my mail client to look there for them. It was just easier). True to form, I put in “.elm/Mail” in my IMAP directory setup on the OS X Mail client. OS X dutifully found all my folders, and everything was fine.

However, unbeknownst to me, OS X Mail was caching my e-mails locally in a directory called “.elm/Mail/…”. This makes perfect sense from OS X Mail’s point of view (allowing potentially multiple different prefixes from a single IMAP server), but it caught me by surprise. Additionally, since Spotlight ignored the entire “.elm” tree, it didn’t index any of the mails below my INBOX.

Problem solved by renaming .elm to something else on my mail server (something that does not being with “.”). I’ve finally been dragged into the 21st century.

About June 2005

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in June 2005. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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July 2005 is the next archive.

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