This is my (in)activity log. You might like to visit my employer
SUSE 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
Lots of in-door slugging; worked on sermon for tomorrow.
Lydia over to chat with some bread. Up rather too late poring
over 2 Cor. 5.
Lie in; breakfast, mass assembly of globe puzzle
with Becky, Thomas & babes. Amused by E.'s demand that
"I'm not Bethan ! I'm Elidabeth !". Bid 'bye to
B. and T. in the evening.
Up lateish, breakfast, finally got a dental appointment
for Mother. Out to Lackford Lakes for a wander, and play in the
Back for a fine lunch, combined with celebrating a near
recovered Mother (minus one wisdom tooth). Parents left, watched
the Muppets Christmas Carol with the babes. Much excitement at
Tie dying of T-shirts with Becky.
Up extremely late; re-started a funky butterfly
puzzle with Becky & Julia. Lunch, bid 'bye to Robert
and Ilona; slugged around tidying up & learning new
games. Marshalled the babes off onto a cycle ride with J.
Watched Polyanna, put babes to bed, up talking
with parents, Tom & Becky by the fire.
Up late, slugged until an early Lunch. Marshalled babes &
brothers to get to Duxford, wandered the air museum at length, enjoying
the fine interactive science of aviation display we'd not seen before.
Lovely time wandering around looking at all the semi-obsolete hardware
including the Eurofighter.
Back for dinner, Sandy & Daniel over to play games during
the evening. Read some of Freakanomics, amused to notice the Klu
Kulux Klan's rather amusing practise of prefixing many
roles with Kl: 'Klansman', 'Kloran', 'Klabee' etc.
Stayed up watching The Frozen Planet (J's present on DVD).
Up lateish; set too cleaning N's bedroom for Becky -
tons of cruft scattered everywhere, got it into a good state.
Lunch with Becky, tidied up the workshop, adjusted the
drill press; lots of washing up. Robert & Ilona arrived,
Lunch. Barbara, Colin & Chris arrived later. Out for a walk
on the heath together. Buffet dinner, played pit until late,
sat and talked to the brothers & girlfriends happily.
Up earlyish, Christmas day - J. discovered Hannah sitting
downstairs colouring-in carefully, while watching her filled stocking
by the fire: most encouraging restraint.
Much joyous stocking unpacking, exclamations of pleasure,
admiring of various gifts. Breakfast, and set off for an early church,
minimal shortened service to accommodate turkeys; hmm.
Home, cracked out the sherry and nibbles, by the fire.
J. and Mother into the cooking flow. Bruce & Anne arrived.
Turkey lunch. Lots of present opening, then desert.
Tried to fit key-less chuck on new drill-press, but
stymied by a jacob's taper of the wrong size. E. very pleased with
her new dinosaur with a long neck ("so it can eat cheese") -
Up chatting to the parents & Thomas in the evening.
Up earlyish, present wrapping, bed making / preparation for
Thomas who arrived for dinner. Lots of sitting by the fire doing
not much, and catching up with T.
Up lateish; scanned mail idly to keep it from
growing uncontrollably, encouraging to see the ministry of absence
in action: patches to get reviewed and merged: nice.
Got firewood sorted out and bagged suitably, house
tidying and slugging action.
Late call with Ciaran and Camilo in the evening.
Up early; set to work on a lengthy list of tasks to get done.
Dismantled upstairs toilet window mechanism - a victim of feeble
aluminium casting fatigue. Machined a new gear from a couple of
washers welded together, ground & filed into shape: works
Laura & babes over to play and for lunch. Cut down
shelf to make childrens reading nest (suspiciously sited right
outside my office).
Worked at cutting & mitring magnetic strips for
secondary glazing with Father until dinner. Chat with JP.
Somehow (despite wearing goggles) managed to get a metal
splinter in my left eye - just towards the nose of the cornea.
Started to irritate the eye-lids; read about such things and
headed to A&E at top speed. Some tender administration of
poking around with a needle, and scanning the eye resulted in
its extraction: good. Back to bed.
Up late - first day of holiday; decided to shut my (now
defunct), US based employee stock program E-trade account;
attempted to use the website, fell back on phoning. Apparently
it is necessary to send them a picture of my passport and a
letter to close the account: nothing like making it deliberately
difficult to shut an account. Interestingly, they didn't require
any form of Photo ID (or other) to open the account, only to
close it. Even more amazingly, the steam-powered E-bay appear not
to have an E-mail address for sending scanned copies, but demand
a fax: no doubt validating the ~one inch signature from my
photo-id against another signature in the same fax, both
presumably at 150 DPI, is ultra secure. Eventually discovered a
rather easier way of closing it to get a dollar cheque.
Out to the Brighty mulled wine & mince pie party in
the evening; nice to catch up with the family.
Back for dinner. put babes to bed; David over in the
evening for Bible study. Parents arrived too from Yorkshire; up
late with them.
To work, more mail and document review. Tried to address a nasty
X / multi-head crasher, but simply can't reproduce it;
defies my best efforts to create a functioning three-display xrandr setup.
Dear lazyweb - how can I get 'xrandr' or gnome-display-manager to give me
three displays of arbitrary size with Xephyr ?
Poked at an RTL bug instead; discovered the presenter view has
a substantial number of RTL bugs.
Mail chew, monday admin bits. Chat with Caolan.
Lunch with holidaying bouncy family. Chased a docx bug
that crashes MS Office 2007 (odd for an XML document).
Dinner, worked late.
Lie-in, breakfast, stayed by the fire with H. in
the morning. Out to practise for the carol service in the
afternoon, followed by service (M. a reluctant, but eventually
triumphant angel; N. a Magi(?), E. a lonesome audience). Party
food afterwards; home, put everyone to bed, holiday atmosphere
reigning. Movie in the evening, sleep.
Up lateish; fooled about tidying the house and slugging with
the babes. Lunch; out for a churches-together angel parade in the
afternoon - visited the Methodist church, and then some animals in
Home, put everyone to bed; H. horrendously sick in the night;
much changing of beds, clothes, scrubbing of stuff; urk.
Packed babes off for their last day at school. Poked at
OpenVPN issues, signing and double signing and other nonsense.
Plugged away at stubify and packaging the results to upgrade our
legacy build systems, stymied by an old internal glib.
Got my openVPN credentials, tried to match the out of
date wiki steps to the changed network-manager UI steps; failed
to connect by either of the native openvpn commandline, and or
the GUI; clearly unnecessary obscurity and complexity adds that
extra sugar-level of 'security' to the system's guts.
Dug out and linked license statements from the archives,
fixed a multi-display bug.
Took babes to school, and attended their music assembly, all
of them playing something - really good to get used to performing from
a young age I suspect. Back to try to unwind some minor cultural mismatch.
Patch review. Lunch, helped Tim with the fence. Team call,
TSC meeting, another meeting; posted minutes, misc. admin.
Out carol singing, mulled wine & mince pies later at Mike &
Thea's. Back to catch up with Julien until late.
Poked at an evolution bug or two, set a new callgrind
run going. Mmail & patch pull/push. Unwound some test skeleton
problems with moggi and rene. Lunch. Tim over to mend the fence,
good to see him.
Callgrind still running; ho hum. Dug through the
extensions module for Matus, eager to gnumake-ify it.
Final Freedom in Christ session in the evening, an
encouraging and helpful course; now over - back to cell groups
Mail, tested docx export - fine, but mis-interacts with import,
reviewed and massaged text. Upgraded using
zypper dup to
openSUSE 12.1 - works really nicely.
Lunch, hacked at an image import issue, disabled gtk3+ support
unless in experimental mode. Unsuccessfully chased an odd wizards related
crasher on windows, without Java installed.
Lydia over for dinner. Worked late.
You know something is really wrong when callgrind takes several
hours to run loading a presentation that should load in seconds.
On-line present purchasing action.
Up; mail chew; one-to-one with Ralf, off to the pre-school
play; more E-mail, status report, admin fluff. Back-ported Lubos'
nice docx comment export code to 3.4.5 to avoid data loss there.
Prodded annoyingly intermitten sdi compilation / race bug - most
Breakfast at Church, Hannah's dedication service; Claire
spoke. Home, applied ourselves to a new jigsaw puzzle with strange
3D / striated pieces - really rather hard.
Watched The Princess Bride with the babes, more
applied slugging. Got the new reprap calibrated and the heater
going and extruding. Seems there was some code flagging any
thermistor showing sub 5 degrees Centigrade as broken and thus
dangerous - clearly written by someone from a more temperate
Set off to Sue & Clives earlyish; finished Watership Down
in the car; fondly remembered last year's horror snowbound journey.
Arrived, Bruce & Anne staying, played with fun sized nephews by
the fire, caught up with all & sundry. Excellent roast pork lunch.
Out to watch the Christmas steam train passing nearby. Back, for more
slugging & family enjoyment, drove babes home late.
Up early, parents arrived for breakfast on the way past
to Yorkshire with lots of good things. To work. Mail chew,
wrote Linux Format column, early lunch.
Call wiht Charles; more mail. Dead pleased to see Bjoern
of Canonical fame's latest elite hack - using git bisect on binaries.
Knocked up stubify.
Could this be the world's ugliest hack ? it exists to produce a vampire stub
library with all the fleshy innards sucked out (particularly dependencies on other
libraries), along with matching pkgconfig files and includes. That turns libgtk-3.so
from 4.6Mb to 250k; but why bother ? The answer is - that creating linux builds that
run on multiple versions of Linux is a massive pain; this is primarily down
to glibc's hyper-unhelpful symbol versioning (stubbify doesn't handle that yet). This
means that you have to build you package inside the oldest system you want to
support. Unfortunately, that makes installing the latest cutting edge libraries:
gtk+ 3.2 or KDE 4, practically impossible via an inter-library dependency and
technology cascade. Would you re-package the gtk+3 stack for CENTOS4 (the baseline
we inherited) ? of course not ! So - by using stubify (when it works properly) we
can create libraries that are only there to help the linker be happy, along with
the associated headers. That way we can package up libraries that can later be
dlopened on systems that include the real mccoy, and life is good; at least -
that's the plan.
Dinner, worked late; ran some profiles on libreoffice 3.5 startup.
Up early; prodded mail, chased queued admin. Set about
fixing issues in the presentation display switcher: if your
presenter view shows up on the beamer for whatever tangled
reason, you get a nice button to click to swap it over (will
need to fix the beamer mis-detection too shortly).
Lunch, team meeting, TSC meeting. More misc. bug
fixing until dinner.
Out to Hannah's christmas play in the evening; rather
well done, home - remembered to get into Cambridge to pick up
a drill press won on e-bay. Home; assured myself its bearings
are still in good order & it drills nice holes: good.
Catching up with several days of under-attended mail and
tasks; urk. Thrilled to see the new workstation build LibreOffice
from clean in 45 minutes.
Did some gtk+/broadway handholding to get people up-to-speed.
Hacked the services/ directory scanner to ignore backup files -
avoiding some really odd behaviour. Nearly killed by laughter reading
Michael Stahl's cultural protection request
Misc. patch review / merge.
Suffered yet more pain with GWAVA spam filtering hiding mail
from me, and worse bouncing mail to have me pushed off / get warnings
from misc. open-source lists: hideous.
Freedom in Christ in the evening, interesting stuff. Up late
working getting some problems unwound.
Up too early, train to London; all day partner event - lots of
interesting people, stats, etc. Encouraged to read the git logs and see
all the nice code cleanups from Kohei, windows installer cleans from
Andras, Multi-media embedding in ODF, from Michael Stahl, gtk+ native
print dialog interation from David, and various other bits that slipped
in at the last minute. Advisory Board call in the evening. Home late.
To work, feature freeze tomorrow; certain amount of panic is
in order. Spent much of the day wrestling python embedding, with an
amazing amount of grief. Wonderful things like:
"Import error type wizards.fax is unknown" getting
spewed from wizards.fax's own
__init__.py included via
__import__("wizards.fax") and other miracles. Lots of
futile stracing, it seems that exception mostly means 'something
Lots more pyuno exception dumping, tried (somehow) to work out
what the contents of an
__import__'ed module's dict
contains; pwrt. classes and variables defined in files in that
directory; totally stumped. Resorted to reading the over-meta,
non-helpful documentation on the point. Tried to introspect the module
in more depth interactively (without success) - trying to map a set
of .py files in a module, to a given content of a module hash
presumably requires some C / code-reading. Eventually defeated it by
explicit .py file/path loading - which works, only to hit a number of
bugs in the python port itself, bother.
Out to Chris & Claire's to baby sit. Worked on getting
things merged. An encouraging feel of cameraderie among the other guys
working late to get their features in; no doubt there'll be a lot of
bug fixing next. Up rather late.
Up, off to NCC, preached. Back for lunch, slugged. Created
a new door sill for the workshop to keep out the icy draft, debugged
a repsnapper issue improving the serial port setup / debugging API.
Breakfast, read Watership Down to the older babes (all agog) -
Bigwig about to attempt escape. Attacked the bathroom with silicone,
removed old silicone, glued on tiles with new, etc.
Worked the afternoon and until rather late studying Daniel
5 - the writing on the wall. Interested to read some of Xenophon's
on the topic, fun.
Chat with Vojtech, mail processing, good to see Beta 0
getting lots of build / packaging bugs shaken out before the
excitement of the feature-freeze and Beta 1. Cleaned the office,
setup new hardware, lunch.
Filed a couple of charting bugs; more install / setup.
Worked at the presenter view display management, to make it
easier to switch displays in the case that we got them wrong.
Spent a good while merging the python fax wizard branch,
and trying to untangle the various curious problems associated
with that; improved our python/UNO integration debuggability a
Teachers back at work; helped dispatch family to their care.
Should dig out the advent calendars & start trying to remember
the complex turn-based structure necessary to make it fall fair.
Read and responded to mail; dug out some code pointers to
help a hacker; more mail. Lunch. Out to N. and M.'s school /
nativity play - lots of fun-sized singing: featuring N. the
glockenspiel playing angel, and M. one of a class full of
TSC call. Vojtech's staff call, chat with Dawn; recieved
faster server; quick dinner, back to meet Brad; worked late.
My content in this blog and associated images / data under
data/ directories are (usually)
created by me and (unless obviously labelled otherwise) are licensed under
the public domain, and/or if that doesn't float your boat a CC0
license. I encourage linking back (of course) to help people decide for
themselves, in context, in the battle for ideas, and I love fixes /
improvements / corrections by private mail.
In case it's not painfully obvious: the reflections reflected here are my
own; mine, all mine ! and don't reflect the views of SUSE, 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 (email@example.com)