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
To the conference, enjoyed Alex's talk on the Raspberry Pi,
lots of good stuff going on there in education: particularly inspired
by the analogy of children needing Physics / Chemisty / Biology to
understand how the world works re-applied to a world packed with
technological gizmos and hence the need to have some real understanding
of Computers beyond mindless word-processing skills.
Lunch with Neil Brown, lots of interesting people around;
enjoyed an open-source firmware talk: what fun there is under the hood.
Interesting Ceph talk too. Bid 'bye to those I could find; taxi to the
airport, starting the treck back to FOSDEM.
Flight to Melbourne, found power and an awesome internet connection
(perhaps due to not having a conference-full of heavy users next to me).
Started sketching / prodding at my FOSDEM / re-factoring talk - questing for
bones to put some flesh onto.
Chatted to a couple of passing girls touring the world - one of
them rescued from a grisly fate by the other from some drugged/spiked drink
in Thailand. Onto the flight - uncommonly delighted by The Economics of
Good and Evil - a wonderful Czech author indeed - ideas are such
Laptop power on the flight: nice; on with slideware. Slept
a little somehow - during an extra-long night.
Up; poked mail & slides. Out to Dave Jones' talk on the trinity
fuzz tester: he had a great demo fuzzing user-space using the 'execve' syscall
passed tons of random junk instead of parameters - it was good to see 'cp'
crash but libreoffice start fine; interesting tool.
My ongoing general disapointment with Anti-Virus software in general
got another data-point: ClamAV claiming that wordml2ooo_draw.xsl contains credit card numbers. The
normal handling of this sort of thing is to white-list some specific 'credit card'
numbers - leaving a barrel of fun for the next person who will tweak the
Enjoyed Sarah Sharp's USB talk - what a bus-load of device-specific
failure; most internal mouse/keyboard are I2C to avoid the USB power-drain.
Quick sandwich for lunch; gave my LibreOffice talk.
Met Phil Robb after a nice UEFI talk, caught up with Dirk, fixed a few
more impress remote bugs; back to the hotel for some mail chew; pizza, call
with J. Read Markus' thought provoking blog on copy-left licensing. Bed.
Up lateish; pleased to see a lemon tree outside the windows.
Dug at fixing some sdremote deadlocks. Poked at slideware; mail chew: hmm.
Wrote up some distro / packaging pieces on LibreOffice; off to the venue -
caught up with a lot of old friends; enjoyed a talk or two. Gave my talks on
governance and packaging, back to the hall. Bus to a fine rotating restaurant
for a dinner with lots of fine chaps. Got an interesting pointer to another
meaning of ISV - apparently a very
liberally licensed (good) translation.
Quick breakfast, packed, out for a quick lunch; then onto
Taronga Zoo, enjoyed the sights and animatronic dinosaurs - it's an
incredible location - despite the 15cm of rain doing it's best to
arrive in a hurry. Dropped at the airport, and waited for a flight
to Canberra interminably delayed; eventually hit the 11pm flight
curfew - but our small turbo-prop managed to get through. Eventually
arrived in Canberra and met up with Tim Serong, sorted out a room;
bed v. late.
Up early, flight to Sydney - picked up by Richard; home
to see Erica & meet Alice; lovely to catch up with them after
a decade. Out to a party with Alice - talked to lots of interesting
Back, chatted, Richard cooked a fine dinner; talked until
late - good company.
Up early; quick breakfast and out to sing at naturalisation
service - good fun, everyone gets a plant it seems. Dropped Tom at
the beach, coffee with Sue, Brian & Auntie. Back for lunch.
Out to Dunalley to marvel at the burned buildings and forests,
lots of chimneys left, and some houses burned out next to others left
unscathed: a spiritual lesson somewhere there. Picked up a pizza and
headed to Mark's to admire his fine house. Back to bed.
Up rather late; out to see Esther, then down to Dover to see
Carol & Peter for lunch, drove back via a scenic route - and a
fine fish & chip dinner at a floating restaurant.
Mail chew to try to keep up - really pleased to read Caolan's
.src to .ui file conversion documentation. Worked lateish,
chat with Thorsten & co.
Breakfast together, bid 'bye to Kerry, Sarah & Liam - into
town with Gerd, skybus to the airport. Mail chew on the plane. Collected
by Sylvia & Rolf. Off to their home for lunch. Nice to catch up, out
to see Esther on the way to a fun choir practise with a number of
interesting friends of the Berners in the evening. Somewhat comic to
sing some rather nationalistic Australian anthems. Back to bed.
Up lateish rested; hopefully will get the body clock to like
Australia quickly. Breakfast, played with Liam, read stories to Sarah
for a while, enjoyed chatting with Kerry; fun. Bit of mail chew around
Out for a brief visit to a nearby family-friendly farm with the
babes; balancing along fences and admiring animals, fun. Home to catch
up with Gerd, spent a lovely evening together talking until late at
Another overnight flight with optional sleeping. Baggage made
it too - always a bonus. Curious at the apparent death-dealing effects of
(trigger[sic] warning) meritocracy, though
is/was fascinating & concerning - sadly I hadn't had the pleasure of
working with this (great guy) then. Luckily in LibreOffice any formal
meritocracy is a binary thing, and we're eager to include enthusiastic
contributors into our formal voting membership: the rest is just normal
human interaction - weighing the quality and veracity of data from various
Arrived, internal flight to Melbourne - caught up with my cousin
Gerd at Southern Cross, train out to his home via a fine lunch, collecting
Sarah & Liam, and a playground on the way to their home. Great to meet
Kerry - a most enjoyable afternoon and evening with them catching up, bed.
Into the office by subway; spent some time chewing over misc.
architectural pieces on the edge of my knowledge, X / kernel graphics /
Wayland; development tips etc. Lunch & learn about LibreOffice for
the office. Poked at some auto-fitting issues with Flex; bid a sad
'bye to the guys. Subway to the station - note to London / transport
operators the Beijing subway costs 20 pence to go anywhere; and the
airport express UKP 2.50 and appears less crowded at rush-hour despite
existing in a city with 4-5x the population - how do they do that ?
Sorted out a favour blocking a large corporate acquisition
involving some rather old personal code of mine.
Mail chew at the airport; met an interesting Korean travelling
to Australia - J. and babes having a day to play, off school due to
the snow - sad to miss that. Lots of mail chew on the plane - it's
amazing the backlog of hard work going on in the team after only a few
days of not watching mail interactively.
Further touring of the town, this time by bus; lots of
friendly people, some teaching, another fine meal; fatal mid-day
sleep. Up late enjoying company & culture - somehow it's great
to plunder the brains of an expat that loves Chinese & the
Chinese. Learned a few more Chinese characters & their
fascinating etymology. Bed.
Up lateish, navigated the Beijing subway successfully for an
hour to visit J&K. For all it's apparent confusing-ness it seems
like a very clean, efficient, spacious and well signed system: modulo
line six being so new that it didn't appear on the hotel map. Dead
pleased by the in-tunnel sequential frame / animation strip that
morphs into an advert as you move: neat.
Lunch, and out for a lovely wander through a fine park,
admired the scenery, and various ice-skating opportunities, learned
some Chinese characters, and lots of interest about the Chinese
culture. Fine food in the evening, a really lovely relaxing time.
Somehow the day turned into Friday while I was working on
slides; managed to grab a couple of hours of interrupted sleep
somehow. Arrived in Beijing, nice attendant found me the hotel car,
got there, freshened; out for lunch with the team (in the same
building interestingly) with Felix & Yifan, and on to the
office again in the same building (convenient). Slide prep,
Quick dinner while chewing mail, in the hotel, slept
like a dead thing.
Up earlyish, checked out; kindly picked up by Ahmad & Isa,
and taken through Riyadh, admired the fortress as stormed by King
Abdul-Aziz' just before the 1st world war - starting the unification
of Saudi Arabia. Out for a fine Lebanese lunch with our Indian team
mates & bid a sad 'bye to all; and Isa dropped me at the airport.
Chewed through more mail on the plane, poked Android demos -
got fields rendering, but no embedded images still: strange.
On a rather amazing Ethiad Airlines plane - even in coach-class
every seat has a (British compatible!) power outlet, a USB socket, and
an ethernet jack [wow]; Ethiad: enabling lan-parties in planes. Those
extra hours of heavy-duty compilation not just battery-nursing are
Up earlyish; drove to the office with Muhammad - meetings
around Linux Desktop & O/S issues, good to meet new people.
More code walk-throughs, hermenutical clues for reading the code,
some technical overviews of the problem areas and specific
individual bug chasing.
Very last-minute talk construction, polishing, demo fixing,
some horrible issues around slide copy/paste when out of space on
the disk - eventually worked around. Arrived, got projecting sorted
out and gave a talk; questions / discussion afterwards with a number
of interesting guys, one of whom wanted Simon's pointers on
Open Source Governance Benchmarking.
Dinner with Abdulmajeed, back to the hotel to
work until rather too late, built the ESC bug stats.
Up lateish, kindly picked up by Mohammad and taken to be
introduced to the senior guys at KACTS, then met up with the team
and walked through both their fine bug fixing work, and the pending/
open set of interesting Arabic/LTR localisation issues. Lunch with
Mohammad. Back for some code walk through / bug chasing action -
plenty of interesting issues - fun.
Back to the hotel - tried to sleep; mail chew instead -
interested to read an interview with Keith about his pending movie
Wars. Poked at demos, out for a lovely traditional dinner with
Ibrahim and some friends from the OpenSource SIG. Back late - mail
chew and slideware creation, call with the wife, bed late.
Up early, breakfast, study, practise with the girls, prayed
with and packed them off to school. Swept snow off the drive - snow ?
should make a contrast to Saudi Arabia. Chewed weekend mail, poked
bugs, call with JanW. Lunch with J. train to Heathrow. Admin on
train, plane etc. Wonderful an under-booked flight, with four adjacent
seats to sleep on - less than wonderful: a child that cries un-consolably
all night, nearby; wow.
Off to NCC, Tony spoke on Jesus as God's Son. Scooted
home fast, E. going to a party with J. Lunch. Afternoon turned
into something like a mini lan-party installing, and playing
with the latest (suitable) Free-Software games up-stairs with
the girls - fun. Tea, put babes to bed and read long stories.
Up; N. out with friends for her party; played with small
girls, made ham & egg sandwiches. A lovely party lunch, played
a few games, watch High School Musical III with babes + Emily,
bathed played with, read stories and put to bed. Out for a date
with J. while Mary Rogers kindly sat - so lovely to have some time
with just her.
Up early; Naomi's birthday - present opening at breakfast; being
eight she got her Linux laptop; fun. To work - mail chew, admin, slide
creation; bug poking, crunched some stats. Chased a typically unpleasant
mixed UNO, VCL lifecycle issue in impress most of the afternoon.
Roast duck dinner for aformentioned birthday.
Up early; mail chew, admin, slide creation; bug poking.
Cleaned up some theme versioning pieces for Ruslan. Status
report, team call, ESC call, bit of DWARF hacking.
Up early, mail chew, poked at bugs, dwarf profiling etc.
Booked travel back from FOSDEM. More patch review, code pointer
extraction, DWARF poking. One of the nice things about doing all
this fixing for the 4.0 release, is seeing the volume of fixes
(since we're double reviewing them) flowing back into the 3.6
branch as we approach release. Board call, cell group in the
Back to work, a very extended mail chew; built ESC bug stats and
initial agenda. Interested to see Alex's nice hack with Broadway to turn
it into a multi-process server.
LibreOffice's use-case is a bit different: requiring some authentication /
multi-client wrapperage; but looks really good.
Lunch, code review of Kendy's lovely Personas late-feature (screenshots
#1 and #2)
re-using another nice Mozilla feature for LibreOffice 4.0; it should
be in 4.0.0 rc1 - due soon. Much more mail chew / column polish.
Spent a while reading up on the DWARF debugging format; I'm eager to
write a tool which will tell me: "why is this binary so big" - ie. which
clever, in-lined, monster-construct/macro has bloated my binary to being
100Mb small, when it's only 10k lines of code. I think the answer should lie
in an easy-to-find way in the debugging info - currently digging for it.
Put babes to bed, dinner with Lydia. Chat with Mark about dwarf-ness,
poked at setting up Naomi's laptop. Installed Windows 8 - didn't create on-line
accounts etc. Horrific time starting anything - ran the store, got a beautiful
blank grey screen labelled 'Store' - waited many minutes until HDD activity
ceased; still a beautiful 'Store' screen with nothing in it, no errors, no
warnings, no dialogs - the essence of minimal UI: but no apps either. Eventually
right-clicked; got a poorly spaced/layed-out green drop-down toolbar 'Home' and
'Your apps' - selecting Home - returns one to the world-of-grey; Your apps has a
'Sign in to Windows Store' button - extraordinary. I suspect this (perhaps) caused
by the 'Chat' app (for which I had a similar experience) having some modal
dialog telling me I need to sign in - exiting and confirming that I don't want a
Microsoft account in that made the Store come to life on return: hmm. Lots of
spinning circle, waiting, agro etc. a poor scrolling experience, and the new
widgets really un-polished: how to 'search' in the app-store is really un-clear.
And all that in the time it takes to burn an openSUSE DVD. Turned UEFI off,
Up early, breakfast - tended babes while J. went for a training
day - a round of practises, creation of thank-you cards, out for
skate-boarding / cycle practise: a reluctant E. getting the
steering/balancing reflex sorted. Jacket potatoe lunch.
Babes watched a DVD, while I started on some E-mail / LXF
column. J. back - out into Cambridge for a hospital appointment - pleased
the consultant had heard of LibreOffice. Dinner. Watched Four Lions -
a somewhat quirky and sometimes amusing form of black comedy while J.
had a meeting. Bed.
Up earlyish; out to NCC, did the younger youth work with J.
Back home for dinner with David - good to catch up with him. Sat by
the fire; watch Enchanted - a rather lovely family film with the
babes. Tea, put babes to bed, finished wiring up the workshop,
chatted with J. by the fire - very amused by The
Parable of the Ox. Listened to sermon from All-Souls.
Up early, showed builder our wetroom tiling problems;
poked at E-mail while J. went out. Set too bolting new vice to
the workbench - mini fire while angle-grinding the head off a
stainless steel bolt (a captive nut gone wrong); eventually got
it firmly secured. Lunch.
Skateboarding practise with M. then N. and H. in the
street; whole family, team house tidying. Hannah, Nick &
Joni over for dinner - up late enjoying their company.
Up late, tidied workshop and fixed sorting bins to the wall.
Passport arrived back; lunch - Laura & Olivier over. Into town to
post post passport again for another visa, tried to get a new zipper
(but couldn't), played in the playground for a while. Back.
More pottering about, dinner, put babes to bed, watched
District 9 with the wife, sleep.
Up late; washing up, cleaning up breakfast mess; J. arrived
with new hackers chair: tons of degrees of freedom, lots of money -
but will it be comfortable ?
Mail chew, casual poking at this & that. Trained M. on
her skateboard (instruction safely from a position of total ignorance
beyond watching a rather fine video
tutorial) - some progress. Drilled a hole for an ethernet cable
for J. - the WiFi revolution is a litany of dropped connections and
broken drivers (as far as I can see), before discovering I don't have
a long enough cable. Ordered N's birthday present & dealt with
the bank. Dinner.
Filed tax return for 2011/12 - how fun; stashed away the
paperwork portion for another five+ years; at least it's possible
on-line and reasonably easy once the numbers are obtained.
Up early; packed the car, bid 'bye to M&D and Chris.
Off to Auntie Nicki's - enjoyed some cheese biscuits and catch-up
there before setting off for home. Lunch in the car; back, unpacked
tried to get the house into some sort of order. Prodded E-mail
for visa details. Dinner, watched LOTR with H. N, and J. censoring
scary bits; Pramface, bed.
Up late, measured up the base for a shed in the garden and pegged it
out with Father. Skateboard assembly with M. and youtube watching of how to
skate details starting with how to fall off.
Lunch, followed by a quick trip to a duck-race down at the river,
which seemed to be postponed. Walked back via the castle, and some exercise
machines. Babes watched DVDs, while I poked at the roof trusses: plagued by
tiny loft hatches - what can be done: free-body analysis, and reading of
building-regs. Dinner, put babes to bed, read Just William - watched the
Human Planet with the family in the evening.
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
Document Foundation, Spaghetti Hurlers (International), or anyone else.
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)