This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
Novell which is an amazing company, and also
Dell who in days of yore provided me with a
free laptop for Gnome development / conferences.
Also if you have the time to read this sort of stuff you could enlighten
yourself by going to Unraveling Wittgenstein's net or if
you are feeling objectionable perhaps here.
Stuff Michael Meeks is doing
- Up early, looked after babes while J. rushed about setting
up kids-group @ church, shopping etc. took them to the memorial gardens
to swing / slide etc. M. seemingly getting better. Back, off to the
station, heading to Cambridge.
- Chewed over life & iogrind with Julian & Donna much
of the afternoon, lunch, good to catch up with them.
- Train back, helped get the babes in bed, caught up with mail,
chatted to Federico etc.
- Lie-in, off to NCC, Tony spoke. Back for lunch, slept
in the afternoon. Brilliant 3rd sermon on Genesis 3 in the evening
by Gordon - on marriage: from the fall, all manner of interesting
hermenutical keys. Covenant making, and new names eg. Bed.
- Up early, dealt with babes while J. slept; left N.
(rather unhappy) with Grandma, and set off up the roof with Father,
several tiles have slipped & the pointing on the ridge tiles is,
as always in need of work.
- The roof is really rather high; a 1st stage, longest
ladder, maximum extension to the stair-well roof; then onwards to
the apex. Edged along, stralling, gripping with legs etc. packed
lots of cement in & returned safely. Father's ladder climbing
expertise still impressive at 71.
- Out in the afternoon to playground by the lagoons, good
to see the sea again, had ribena ice-things; N. spread hers all over
herself liberally. Rushed back to care for an upset M.
- Packed, drove home, bed.
- Read mail, call with Julian. Poked at layout bits for
Ricardo. N. sleeping blissfully behind me (hacking from the parents
home in their bedroom) - highly sweet.
- Tried to debug some clock drift issue. Moved some bugs
around. Lunch. Interview with a potential OO.o hacker after lunch.
Desktop team meeting. Customer call, call with JRB.
- Some more iogrind hacking, synched with JP, poked
Federico, created my first git repo. Talked & read until late.
- Up late, off to London - more C# hackerage, hex number
handling in .Net appears rather complicated; eventually unwound
how number formats in WriteLines work by code reading (sigh).
- Lunch with Zaheda, great to see her again. Hacked on
the train home again - tried to encourage monodevelop to show me
what magic gmcs compile command-line it is using, unfortunately
strace only shows a tmp control file; discovered lots of other
interesting options at the same time. A
"monodevelop --no-gui --just-compile " might be useful.
- Eventually unwound what was going on; finally got the
picture I was expecting - beautiful indeed, needs some prettifying
before screen-shottage though; rendering memory maps, their types
- Dinner, chatted to M & D & Robert, bed, got
caught up in Asimov's Foundation and didn't get to sleep
until late: fun. Eventually abandoned it after the Anachronian
attack got abhorted.
- Up at 5am, worked until 7 - breakfast, took Hannah to
(pre-)school. Back to work. Continued on some document, eventually
spammed the powers that be with it. Poked jrb.
- Dinner, packed everything, some hacking in the car -
bad interaction between monodevelop and emacs keybindings (apparently)
at least, there should be some explanation for loosing a chunk of
code; back to emacs - surely the thing can generate some nice
- To work, call with Sabine & Ken, call with Alex.
Chewed mail. Started poking at valgrind, a little trivial progress.
Poked at monodevelop - eventually got it working.
- More mail, call with Nat. J. out in the evening with
Myriam - washed up. Couldn't sleep: that annoyed. Poked at mail.
- More pointless educational mail production. Tried to
contact Rico Logistics - helpfully the Cambridge depot number they
left simple has no-one on the other end of it; eventually contacted
head office, and got a better number. Turns out due to their telephonic
inadeqacies they'd returned the new battery already. Called IBM
(competant in contrast) to arrange re-delivery.
- More admin, asset count. Lunch, filed expenses, replied
to Julian. Interesting call, chat with Caolan. Out for a run in the
- Up lateish, NCC - did in my back lifting Myriam - what a
lump. Despite Naomi's branding me "Big Daddy", I suspect my wrestling
prowess falls short of the mark. Did creche with Cathy, helped smear
glue over cut-out fish & aided/abetted sprinkling glitter
- Back for lunch, slept for some hours, Sindy DVD,
and tried to work on the wife wrt. more permanant fixings for the
projector in the hallowed kitchen: some success.
- Gordon sermon in the evening in wrath remember mercy
on Genesis 3, bed.
- Lie in for the wife, headed out to the market with the
babes. J. set about the hedge, while I drilled out & fixed up
more shelving & started sorting plumbing tools & fittings.
- Tim & Julie arrived unexpectedly, apparently forgot
we had invited them - bother; great to see them though, J's ad-hoc
lunch - splendid.
- Washing & tidying up bonanza.
- On holiday. Errected the last tranche of shelving in
the shed. Off to Thetford Forest Park for a picnic lunch,
played with the children etc. DVD "on the wall" in the afternoon
with the kids.
- Wedding anniversary - 5 years of marriage - and it
keeps getting better. Martin over for pizza & the latest
Bond film in the evening.
- Poked mail, until the test server flaked. Wrote a
little up wrt. conclusions on OO.o UI / layout in the wiki.
Particularly annoyed by BBC news - millions of words spilled
wrt. 30 American students dead, while 150 Iraqis die in a
single day apparently almost unlamented.
- Spent some time on a long overdue write-up,
eventually got that done, and some of the over-hyped pain out
of my inbox. Call with Ricardo, hopefully he'll have a build
- Dinner with Janine, watched a 'Larry Boy' DVD with
the kids, put them to bed. Estimated travel expenses for the
- Somewhat amused by some article in the Economist
talking about the differing views of a prominent statue of a
Russian soldier in an ex Soviet satelite state town, views
ranging from welcomed liberators from the Nazis, to: a monument
to the "unknown rapist".
- To the airport, poked at existing toolkit, xmlscript,
layout & dialog editor code, interesting stuff. Flight (dead
battery), train to Cambridge, mis-counted (2) stops and nearly
didn't get off there - mercifully noticed.
- More code reading in the station lounge. Managed to
miss the Nmkt train a combination of slow suspend-to-disk, a lack
of urgency and the thing leaving 10seconds early, bother.
- Picked up by the sweetheart, happily re-united with
various babes etc. credit-card expired thus no network, bother -
- Tested new digital projector - looks great, showed the
Take Command movie to the children (still obsessed with worm
- Cell group in the evening, went well.
- Up early, gave talk, prolly too fast, hope the nice
translator man managed to keep up. Accosted by some safe-sex campaigner
afterwards - how curious. Press conference, some interviews.
- Fixed a yast2-gtk crasher, submitted new package, helped
Ricardo get a build environment setup. Confused conf-call. Poked at
potential product requirements for SLED11.
- Up earlyish, prodded mail gingerly from a distance,
massaged calendar. Out for lunch with some Jiri's, Martin and the
rest of the yast team here - good to catch up with them.
- Talked to Jan Kara about ext3 & modelling it at
some length. Some hacking, conference call with Guy & Jeff.
- Pavel Janik arrived, great to see him, gave us a ride
in his brand-new car to a fine restaurant, ate hunk of beef: good.
Discovered my talk is tomorrow early, not Wednesday - good to know.
- Worked on talk until late.
- Up earlyish, breakfast. Extraordinary film:
Skrítek in the
morning. Out for a nice walk through the
forest and local fields with Kendy, Petr & Radek ; to a pleasant
restaurant for lunch, rambled back, good stuff. Bid 'bye to the lady
of the house & son.
- On to an observatory on a nearby hillside - lots of
telescopes of various kinds, and strange new-age artwork much of it
in granite: striking, beautiful sunset too.
- Radek kindly dropped us back into Prague, found food, bed.
- Breakfast, goodbyes to many of the lads; Kendy's car broken
into, so went by Train with Petr & JP, Radek picked us up at the
Kutná Hora station, and on to the most amazing Ossuary I've seen - a
Goth's dream, in a Christian context.
- Lunch, on to the beautiful cathedral, wandered the streets,
admired the views etc. very pleasant. Back to Radek's custom-built home,
really great, meet Radka and coo at the very sweet baby Martin. Kendy
- Out for a walk in the forest. Back, fine dinner, tea, missed
JP's train back several times, bed late.
- Up early, last day of meetings, brainstormed / blue-sky
thoughts wrt. feature development, some interesting things came up.
- Some video goodness, some one-on-one tech discussion,
wrapped up. Quick talk with the yast team, and out to the town - tour
by Radek of the centre of town, fine bridge, university, castle etc.
- Back to the hotel late, bed.
- Up early, breakfast, to the office. Finished up the individual
talks, some really interesting ones. Looked at timelines etc. and had a
break in the afternoon; work for Chris.
- Called IBM wrt. my now dead Thinkpad battery, (battery light
pulsing orange 2x per second) - rumour has it that there is some sort of
surge protector in there, that (perhaps) the dodgy socket at Stanstead
had a run-in with.
- Dug at the (most odd) issue Carsten found with string interning,
can't repeat in our builds with the patch, odd indeed. Played with EIS with
Eric - unfortunately, the 31337 'security' feature means that while Eric
can't log in to approve a CWS, only Noel can change the owner etc.
- Up early, breakfast with the lads. Off to the SUSE offices,
wandered around, pressed the flesh - good to get the whole team in one
room and talk about what we've been doing, and where we want to go.
- Meetings all day, some great individual talks from people,
really good to get to the bottom of all the bits.
- Out in the evening - great .cz hospitality - some amazing
huge slide you go down on a go-cart thing at speed: really fun. Dinner
afterwards, back to bed late.
- Up early, poked mail, waylaid by a call with Chris.
Packed, lift to the airport from parents, checked in - more talking
- Flight - laptop battery flaked as I got on board: bother,
it seems to have totally died. Arrived at the hotel, freshened up, met
up with Jody, Florian, Hubert - chatted, more people arrived - out for
dinner at a pleasant local pub. Bed.
- Still feeling groggy, helped on & off with bits -
got guttering up on the shed; some hooks in the roof for 'Black
Knight', and things cleared up very nicely.
- Up briefly, back to bed horribly ill, sick etc. Robert
& Emily arrived, missed the wife's wonderful Easter lunch.
Surfaced in the afternoon a little. Slugged in the garden with the
family, in the sun, fun.
- Up early, wired up the shed, got the lighting working,
finally finished connecting & disconnecting the tails to the
consumer unit (live), phew. Made up some brackets from some scrap
aluminium, installed loads of shelves. Re-stacked the shed, now
with some floor visible.
- Up early, battle commenced - mixed yet more concrete &
scrap bits of hard-core / old cement, poured next base - out to buy
more of the stuff - eventually finished; left to dry: mercifully
sunny. Examined the wiring situation intead, set the immersion heater
to be a little cooler & admired the skin damaged caused by the
- Foolishly connected the new run of cable to the switch
board, both neutral & live; didn't turn on - persistent pain for
the next hours with the earth leakage trip - eventually worked out
that the new cabling was connecting neutral & earth, with a tiny
and varying current just under the 30mA trip threshold. Eventually
got the cable run out to the shed.
- Up early, to work with my Father - moved approaching 1/2 a
ton of cement & balast around, into concrete mixer, broke hard-core,
angle-ground brick work into a cleaner state; poored a new slab at the
back of the shed: back-breaking work. More tomorrow.
- Discovered my blog didn't bump a month; re-instated April.
- Up early, poked mail. An interesting fortnight from Sun,
hiring Ian Murdoch, started shipping SLED10 on (some)
Ultra Workstations (smart move), and also Rich Green's 'Upgrading'
from Linux to Solaris appears to suggest that many companies have
discovered that [Linux] ... actually incurs costs similar to or exceeding
what, say, Microsoft charges for its operating system, extraordinary:
apparently we have a rather different customer base.
- Poked at GSOC projects, Caroline, Isabelle & Grace arrived
to play before lunch, lovely wife returned with printer, tried to get that
setup; nice to have a (fairly fast) colour photocopier though. Got
gutenprint installed & working nicely after poking at linuxprinting.org,
neat. Finally printed / signed / faxed / queued for postage various bits
of paper: expenses etc.
- Poked various people, another report to write, soon I will be
done & back to fun hacking (or perhaps on holiday - from tomorrow).
- Cell group, Mum & Dad arrived late.
- Up, poked mail, wrote up the 'unify-OO.o-unit-testing' task
and poked Travis to see if he can take it on, it'd be nice to have a
well defined, consistent way of invoking unit tests across the code base.
- Wrote LXF column. Lunch, team meeting. Poked at this &
that, call with Lowry Snow, updated Trevor wrt. expenses, call with
- Dinner, eventually, after some dithering decided to buy a new
Epson DX6050 to replace the Epson Stylus C46 that behaves like a brick with
lights on it. Why is it though, that rich printer diagnostics (eg.
"out of yellow ink" are so pitiful in Linux ?). Perhaps some yet-another-daemon
to poll the escputil output and expose a nice D/BUS interface would be
- Monday - back to work: nice. Read nice queue of daily
status reports from those in the team that send them <cough>.
Poked at the GSOC bits. Caught up with JP - the team humming like
a well oiled machine in my absence.
- Martin Michlmayr
published his dissertation on Quality Improvement from time-based
releases. Poked OO.o & Gnome bugs, peeled most of the mail
queue back to where I was a week ago: neat.
- Lunch, fixed a bonsai config bug for Shaun. Fixed
- Up lateish, NCC - Helen spoke / family service -
certain amount of coloring in and so on. Back - Helen & Brian,
Mel & John & assorted kids around for Passover-style
- Slugged in the sun in the garden, chatting afterwards,
interesting guys. Tidied up, some Veggi-Tales DVD watching, kids to
bed, J. out.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of Novell, The
Lithuanian Gov't or Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's also important to
realise that I'm not in on the Swedish Conspiracy.
Occasionally people ask for formal photos for conferences,
Michael Meeks (firstname.lastname@example.org)