Presenting to project leaders

This Friday I am invited to give a presentation to the annual conference of Latvian project leader association (LNPVA) about what can these project leaders learn from the free software development process. The core of the presentation will involve asking them to try participating in existing free software projects in order to gather understanding about how we do it and then see for themselves, how that could apply to their projects. Maybe some of them will listen to me and we will get some more people contributing to free software here in Latvia.

I will try to make my presentation in Lessig style, wish me luck on that.

IPW2200 on HP nx6110

If you thought that sticking a supported miniPCI wireless card into a HP nx6110 notebook and getting it to work is trivial or fast or well documented, then you are quite wrong! Let me walk people trough the misery here...

So you have you great HP nx6110 notebook with some kind of Linux installed. For this exercise we will assume that we have Ubuntu Dapper Drake here, but similar problems will happen anywhere else too. You have you shiny new Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 card (or newer IPW2915 that has even more problems) in miniPCI form factor. You open the back of your notebook, stick the card into the slot, attach leads from the antennae and ... the fun begins ...

The first problem is that you were cheap and instead of buying HP branded IPW2200 card for 100$, you bought an OEM version for 20$. HP will not like that, so right on the boot up you will be greeted by: "104 unsuported wirless network device detected, system halted, remove device and restart". Friendly, ne? The best workaround to this problem can be found on a HP forum and it is to edit EEPROM of the miniPCI card so that it contains the PCI ID that the HP laptop BIOS expects it to contain. Neat :)

WARNING: EEPROM contains lots of important data. Anything could happen if wrong values are put there.

So, how will we do that? It is quite simple, really. First remove the card and boot your Ubuntu. We will use the new Linux 2.6.16 kernel. To add support to writing to EEPROM we will need Martin Stachon's patch, but we will have to modify it a bit so that it fits 2.6.16 kernel, so here is the updated patch:

--- linux-2.6.16/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.c 2006-03-20 07:53:29.000000000 +0200
+++ 2006-03-24 22:07:12.000000000 +0200
@@ -2345,6 +2345,8 @@
* NOTE: To better understand how these functions work (i.e what is a chip
* select and why do have to keep driving the eeprom clock?), read
* just about any data sheet for a Microwire compatible EEPROM.
+ *
+ * The chip is 93C66 in 16x256 mode. */
/* write a 32 bit value into the indirect accessor register */
@@ -2425,6 +2427,37 @@
return r; }
+/* write 16 bits to the eeprom */
+static void eeprom_write_u16(struct ipw_priv* priv, u8 addr, u16 data)
+ int i;
+ printk(KERN_INFO DRV_NAME " eeprom_write_u16(%02x, %04x) ", addr, data);
+ /* write/erase enable */
+ eeprom_disable_cs(priv);
+ eeprom_op(priv, EEPROM_CMD_WRITE, addr);
+ /* now the data bits follow */
+ for ( i=15; i>=0; i-- ) {
+ eeprom_write_bit(priv, ( (data&(1<<i)) != 0 ) ? 1 : 0 );
+ }
+ /* CS needs to be taken low before next clock */
+ eeprom_write_reg(priv,0);
+ eeprom_write_reg(priv,EEPROM_BIT_SK);
+ msleep(10); /* wait for the write to complete */
+ eeprom_write_reg(priv,0);
+ /* write/erase disable */
+ eeprom_disable_cs(priv);
+ /* helper function for pulling the mac address out of the private */
/* data's copy of the eeprom data */
static void eeprom_parse_mac(struct ipw_priv *priv, u8 * mac)
@@ -9946,19 +9979,45 @@
return 0; }
+#define IPW2200_EEPROM_MAGIC 0x2200
+#define CX2_CHECKSUM 0x0040
static int ipw_ethtool_set_eeprom(struct net_device *dev,
struct ethtool_eeprom *eeprom, u8 * bytes)
struct ipw_priv *p = ieee80211_priv(dev);
- int i;
+ u8 wordoffset;
+ u16 w;
+ int i;
+ if(eeprom->magic != IPW2200_EEPROM_MAGIC)
+ return -EINVAL;
if (eeprom->offset + eeprom->len > IPW_EEPROM_IMAGE_SIZE)
return -EINVAL;
+ wordoffset = eeprom->offset / 2;
+ /* TODO ethtool currently supports writing only 1 byte,
+ * take eeprom->len into account */
+ if (eeprom->offset % 2 == 0) /* LSB */
+ w = (p->eeprom[(eeprom->offset)+1] << 8 ) | *bytes;
+ else /* MSB */
+ w = p->eeprom[(eeprom->offset)-1] | (*bytes << 8 ); down(&p->sem);
+ eeprom_write_u16(p, wordoffset, w); memcpy(&p->eeprom[eeprom->offset], bytes, eeprom->len);
- for (i = IPW_EEPROM_DATA;
- ipw_write8(p, i, p->eeprom[i]);
+ if (wordoffset > CX2_CHECKSUM / 2) {
+ p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM] = 0;
+ p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM+1] = 0;
+ for (i = CX2_CHECKSUM+2; i < IPW_EEPROM_IMAGE_SIZE; i+=2) {
+ p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM] ^= p->eeprom[i];
+ p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM+1] ^= p->eeprom[i+1];
+ }
+ eeprom_write_u16(p, CX2_CHECKSUM/2, (p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM+1] << 8 ) | p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM]);
+ IPW_ERROR("New EEPROM Checksum %04x ", (p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM+1] << 8 ) | p->eeprom[CX2_CHECKSUM]);
+ }
return 0;

diff -u linux-2.6.16/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.h
--- linux-2.6.16/drivers/net/wireless/ipw2200.h 2006-03-20 07:53:29.000000000 +0200
+++ 2006-03-24 21:15:47.000000000 +0200
@@ -1583,6 +1583,13 @@
#define EEPROM_BIT_DO (1<<4)
#define EEPROM_CMD_READ 0x2
+#define EEPROM_CMD_WRITE 0x1
+#define EEPROM_CMD_EWEN 0x0 /* write/erase enable */
+#define EEPROM_CMD_EWDS 0x0 /* write/erase disable */
+/* these latter two are distinguished by two upper bits in address */
+#define EEPROM_CMD_EWDS_ADDR 0x00 /* Interrupts masks */
#define IPW_INTA_NONE 0x00000000

Now that the kernel is patched with this patch, configure it, but be very careful to configure both ipw2200 and ieee80211 as modules and _not_ compiled into the kernel. Compile and install the kernel as usual. Also download IPW2200 firmware and place it into /lib/firmware/.

Turn off your computer and prepare for hot insertion of the card - remove the miniPCI slots cover, insert your IPW2200 card into the slot, attach the antennae and then eject it from the slot, but leave it just there. Turn on the computer and press "Esc" to get into GRUB bootup menu. At this point turn over your computer and insert the IPW2200 card into the slot while the computer is still running. Be very careful about static electricity and try not to touch any contacts - you can easily fry your notebook if you do something stupid here. When the card is inserted, boot your new kernel.

The card should come up normally. The main check at this point is running "iwconfig" (all commands as root) to see which interface is your wireless card (it was "eth1" for me, substitute "eth1" for your interface name further on if you have a different one) and then running "ethtool -e eth1" to see a hex dump of the EEPROM of the WiFi card. If you get only bunch of zeros, then something is wrong there - maybe your firmware does not match with your driver version. Save the hex dump to a file - you might need it if you do something wrong with it later.

Now it is the time to actually change the data in EEPROM. The commands to get a HP approved European version of IPW2200 card

ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0x8 value 0xf6
ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0x9 value 0x12
ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0xa value 0x3c
ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0xb value 0x10

To get HP approved USA version of IPW2200

ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0x8 value 0xf5
ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0x9 value 0x12
ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0xa value 0x3c
ethtool -E eth1 magic 0x2200 offset 0xb value 0x10

At this point it should be safe to reboot your system with the card inside and the BIOS error should be no problem for you any more. Once a card has been altered this way it can be used in any HP notebook in any OS.

However if you are like me then another stumbling block will be in your way: Kill switch. HP nx6110 has a switch in BIOS that permanently switches off miniPCI WiFi. The drives sees that as hardware kill switch. And of course I had to spend an hour until I figured that I had disabled that option in the BIOS "to save a bit of power" several months ago.

To gain some extra geekness points you should also download and compile the newest versions of ieee80211 and ipw2200 driver with the newest firmware, but remember that you will need to erase the modules that you built from your kernel tree and also comment out some options in few kernel config files. The installation docs of ipw2200 have all the details on that. And also do not forget to get a newer version of the firmware to go with those drivers.

After I had done all those manipulations and also enabled ipw2200 drivers led option I gained fully functional WiFi card with fully functional LED indication and working software kill switch - I press the WiFi button and the radio goes off (along with the indicator LED), I press it again and the LED starts blinking and when the card associates with an access point the LED lights up fully in its great wireless glory.

If your IPW2200 minPCI card still does not work, then check again if you have the firmware in place and then see what "dmesg" says to you after you tried to load the drivers.

HP, this is really not nice at all!

Happy + sad + hectic all in one day

Today is shaping up to be a very strange day indeed:

1. Today is my 23rd birthday and still I have no celebration planned as of now. Update: well now three separate parties that combine my bithday and my farewell parties together are planed all over this weekend. Fun.

2. Today my father had a surgery planned - he was diagnosed with cancer last week. Update: Today it became clear that it is incurable and that he only has a year or two left to live. Very sad and depressing. I am not good with those feelings - I tend to almost not feel them while it is processing in the back of my head. Then after a few weeks it hits me like a sledgehammer and in a day I am back to life again. Sad and strange. I wish he lives at least until I come back from UK.

3. And I have a list of 20+ things to do before moving to Cranfield, UK from which I hope to have 3-4 of those tasks completed today. On of those is buying a 160Gb hard drive for an USB enclusure I have to provide me some space for my data and photos in UK and a miniPCI Intel PRO/Wireless 2200 card so that I finally can use my notebooks wireless capabilities as they were ment to be used. Update: no such things in store - come tomorrow.

Hell of a day.

120 rants (2006.03.12+2006.03.19)

Two 60 minutes rants rolled into one post, what could be better then that?

Tal Afar - the worst place to live in Iraq for the last 3 years

Tal Afar is the town in Iraq that was the homebase for Al Qaeda for a long time. USA army had captured the town before, but could not hold it for long before Al Qaeda returned. And then after another year USA had to capture the town again fighting for every house. But the best part was that when they were ready to make the final blow and take out all the militants that were surrounded in the center of the town, an order came to hold the attack for several days. After those days passed the troops proceeded and only found one dead body and no militants - they all escaped.

In my mind the military did all what they were supposed to do quite nicely, but the politicians of the Bush administration interfered and gave the terrorists the time to escape. It almost looks like they did that on purpose. You have to admit that if one assumes that Bush has some good childhood friends among the organizers of Al Qaeda, then a lot of his and his administrations actions suddenly start to make much more sense.

It also looked like the military did well to secure that town now, but the amount of troops needed for that is mind numbing - to secure a single town of 200k people the military is forced to deploy there permanently both USA 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment (5000 solders, 320 tanks, 80 aircraft) and the Iraqi 3rd Division (3000+ solders). That is a lot of firepower just to insure peace. To cover the whole Iraq with that kind of protection more then 1'150'000 troops would be needed. Currently USA is about one million troops short on that.

I am happy about people living in Tal Afar, but really with this tiny number of troops there, there is not much of a security - Al Qaeda can easily move to another place and continue where they left off.

Back to homosexuality studies

A bunch of interesting studies on homosexuality was presented in this segment: identical twins where one is homosexual and the other is strait, twin boys where one boy was clearly feminine and the other was clearly masculine at 18 months already, studies that show that homosexual people move quite differently from strait people of the same sex, hormone injections at birth making male mice behave like a female. And the most surprising of them all - the more older brothers a boy has, the bigger is his chance of being homosexual, but only if the boy is right-handed. And the numbers are statistically significant. Now that is one really fun field to study :)

Some time ago I did a post about what I think about homosexuality. These studies clearly show that it is not genetic, but more of hormonal nature. My understanding now is that there are many separate parts of the human body that develop at different times during the development of the child (mostly before birth) and that level of several hormones, mostly testosterone, could cause a probability on which way do those body parts develop - feminine or masculine. Some of those parts are parts of brain and then this twist in the early brain development is what determines what kind of interests and behavior will a person have.

We have two words to describe persons physiological gender - "male" and "female", but do not have good words to describe a persons psychological gender or the combination of two. As I have said in my post before, I think we should simply move to a system with four genders - that will solve most of our problems with this issue.

Henchman confesses

The right hand man of the second most wanted man in the USA (after Usama) was talking about what he and his boss have done in their lives. The man himself was already trialed and after making a deal with the prosecution has already done the 7 years he was sentenced to and now can freely talk about his past.

I really was not too trilled about the story - I have no feeling to the mob. In fact for me a mob is almost like a product of a Hollywood directors mind - I have never seen a mobster or have been influenced by them in any way. There is no real mobs in Latvia - a few single gangsters or rappers and a bunch of "grown up" pseido-mobsters in politics. Basically in Latvia organized crime is organized in such way that people do not get affected by it - they do not do drugs or extortion.

Andy about Oscars dress code

Andy reflected on Oscars, who won, who lost and who got the lowest-cut dress.

I talked about Oscars before, but to extend about the dresses I agree with Andy that men should dress up in fancy and strange wear for the Oscars just like the women do, otherwise there is not much eye candy for all those cowboys out there ;)

Note: Mike we will miss you.

Extending family via sperm donor link

The story mainly is about a website - a kind of a matchmaking website where children that are born via sperm donations could find their half-sisters, half-brothers and sometimes even meet their own biological fathers. The whole process is voluntary for all participants and is basically a string matching exercise. For some sperm donor codes up to 20 children have been registered.

I think this is a very interesting way how people can forge new family relationships and extend their understanding of family further. I think that is quite wonderful - imagine that you know that you have a lot of relatives all across the world. It would help more cross-cultural understanding and it will definitely calm people down a lot.

Rewriting the science

Now this story got my full attention, because it is just horrible misconduct by the current USA administration for which we all will be paying in a short while. The story basically is that every scientist that is involved in weather studies must pass his/her press releases trough an approval in the White House and the "approval" is made by a former lobby to the oil industry who blatantly rewrites the reports to either play down or simply remove any reference to global warming an predictions of its cause, magnitude or probable effects.

When there is a lawyer in the Washington that can with a wide strike of his pen strike out findings of most respected scientists of the field and scribble "inconclusive speculation" instead, you know something is very deeply wrong with the science in the USA. Also the same administration simply denies interview requests with the scientist offering their own trained PR people instead. Since when people have to ask permission to the White House before taking an interview from a scientist??? I would believe that being the case in Soviet Russia, but in the USA ?!?!

The Americans must have lost their minds - a couple decades ago there would be nation wide strikes and million people protests just for that. Now it is enough for president to say that it is unpatriotic to be against the president and everyone suddenly comply. That is worse then Soviet Russia. This is voluntary.

Note: the scientist also stated that if we do not start stopping global warming in next ten years, it will become unstoppable. I personally think that he is being optimistic there.

Anti-terror terror in NY

After 9/11 the New York police department expanded rapidly and formed a special anti-terrorism unit doing tasks that FBI and CIA are supposed to do. Every day random police drills are conducted across NY. Every day all the potential bombing hot spots are checked for explosives. Helicopters monitor the territory for unusual activity. Shopkeepers have manuals on what to watch for and where to report what they saw. Blogs are mined for data and every detail of any foreign bombing is analyzed to find new ways how terrorists could attack NY. Billions of dollars are spent on making NY safer.

I will not argue with the fact that there have not been any new successful attacks on New York or that some terrorism plots were intercepted in progress by the NYPD. What I do want to say is what exactly happens with people that are protected so closely? Doesn't the constant proactive anti-terrorism defense terrorize everyone that it is supposed to protect? There is this phrase - "Global Terror". I think it is very correct, but not in the way it intended - what we actually have is a terror all around us, people being in terror - afraid of terrorism attacks. And the governments just fuel this flame of terror because it makes them look good - you need authority to fight terrorism. The USA has spent on war in Iraq 20 times more then it would take to end world hunger. Apparently securing some oil and showing off their anti-terrorism skilz is more important then world hunger.

I am not saying that NYPD is doing something wrong - they are doing as good as they can without relying on the help from the federal government. The federal government of the USA however it the one being fatally inefficient.

Lottery winners vs. losers

Andy raises a nice point this week - a lot of poor people spend lots of their money on government lotteries. Rich people do not play lotteries. So basically a lottery is a way to get a lots of money from the poor people to the organizers and a few of the participants. People are stupid. But it is not governments job to cash in on that.

That's all folks! What do you think? What else do you want me to rant about? Leave a comment to let me know!

Want less flame? Write less of it.

If you really want to send an heated email or write a flaming comment or a blog post about an issue that is important to you, just write it, but do not send it. Do something else. Come back after 3-4 hours. Reread what you have written. Erase the post. If you still feel that you must say something about it, then write something new, wait an hour, reread and send it, but only if you are 100% happy with it. That should decrease the flamingness of the message considerably.

I had to do just that yesterday when several people reacted quite harshly to my blog post about a Flash app with breast animation. It's not like there is something wrong in womens breasts and it's not like I put the picture in my post - I only posted a link. I also gave a very detailed description of what exactly was at the end of that link. One would also had to navigate a few menus to get to the breasts themselves. So it is not like I pushed it into readers face. You had to want to see that to get it. And in fact, I was adoring the wireframe that they used to get the video simulation much more then the finished textured version.

I do not like the trend that Debian is shifting to the American Way &tm; in tolerance - intolerating the people you think are intolerant. That is so like the USA fighting terrorism by terrorizing anyone who looks like terrorist to them or could be helping them. That is not the right way! If you want to promote tolerance, be tolerant yourself - don't troll the troll, also do not just ignore the troll - listen to the troll and try to understand what his actual point is, without flaming back about how his personal opinions are intolerant. Even a troll has a point! Most probably you just missed it obsessing about something else he said.

Mustache gone, really, really now.

After one of the comments to the Ted's interview I made a final decision - no more mustache for me. I have head this from my girlfriend. I have heard it from my mom. I have heard it from a random girl on a first date (and last) date. I have even heard it from a hairdresser. But nothing prepared me to the shock of being compared to this!

It is all over - the mustache is gone. Updated blog photo and hackergotchi are coming soon.

Moving to UK

After less then a month of talks I have been awarded a studentship in Cranfield University, UK. I will spend one year starting on using AI and genetic programming to solve the issue of "Automated evolution of textual adverts" as my Masters in Research. The studies will start on 10th of April, so the next three weeks I will be spending in a constant state of accelerated bewilderment as I will be running around arranging all the things that I will need to take with me and all the paperwork that I will have to do before going off to Cranfield.

Wish me luck.

Note: I am still coming to Debconf6!


This link is mostly for women doing some sports - you like when you are doing some sports activity and sometimes breasts get in the way of your performance? So this website features a Flash application that lets you choose you cup size, type of activity you plan to do and then shows what type of sports bra you should use for that. There will also be a realistic visualization of how that sports bra will perform, how a regular bra would perform and how it would look to do that au-naturel.

Note: The link is NOT work safe!

P.S. Guys that love Baywatch should also check out that link too. You will not be disappointed ;)

P.P.S. Geeks should check out the wireframe mode :D

ReadThemAll GPL book reader for Palm

Many people complain that it is hard for them to read ebooks. The thing is you simply have not seen the best way to do that. The right hardware and software. The right hardware for most people is a Palm. Palms are great organizers and generally a very good portable computing device with nice battery life and good screens. The right software to read ebooks in Palm is the GPL ReadThemAll.

The killer feature is the "spotlight" autoscroll. The idea is simple - you open a document, a screenfull of text is shown, you press down and start reading, as you read the lines at the top of the page start becoming transparent - they fade out, when you have read 'till the end of the screen the fadeout has propagated down to ~middle of the screen and on the top the text from the new page is fading in, so when you have read the last line on the screen you just raise you eyes and start reading from the top again and the new page is already there. The text only fades in and out, it does not move around the screen. Works like magic.

You can press up to stop the scrolling. If you press down when the scrolling is active, it will speed up. If you press up when the scrolling is not active it will reduce the scrolling speed.

It also has the normal page-by-page mode, remembers your place in books, reads the normal Palm document files (utf8) and allows adjusting the font.

Wonderful piece of software, I read a couple books a month with it and my Palm Treo 600. It has actually become my catch all activity - if I have nothing else to do for even 5 minutes, I take out my Treo and continue reading my book. (P.S. Discworld rules!)

Interview with Ted Walther (Was: KROOGER SPEAKS!!!)

For the second year in a row Ted Walther (formerly known as Jonathan Walther) runs as a candidate in Debian Project Leader (DPL) elections. Last year "None of the above" got more voter support then Ted. Inside the Debian project he is used as a poster boy for chauvinistic, racist and rude behavior on a mailing list and for causing a few huge flame-wars in years 2003 and 2004. Ted claims that his behavior was misunderstood and that he has learned from those events. After getting a very sane and reasonable impression from Ted's this years platform I was surprised when I was reminded that he is in fact still the same Jonathan (now Ted) Walther we all know from those times. Fascinated by this discrepancy I decided to make a one-to-one interview with Ted to clarify. The interview follows after the break. Ted's replies are indented.

Note: The interview is very long, so if you want to skip some of it, I'd recommend reading the Debian related issues part and my thoughts after the interview.

Debian related issues

Flame-wars and Debian

All in all, in the last years DPL election the now infamous thread on debian-women from July 2004 and earlier thread on debian-project had been raised to show you being a very sexist person. Could you please summarize: What was your position then? What do you think made so many people so angry about that? And what is you position about that today?

My position today is that I misjudged how much I had in common with my audience. Email is a relatively context-free environment. The only context is what you supply. Anton LaVey pointed out that people tend to see what they expect to see, and not see things they don't. My mistake was forgetting that important fact of human nature. The context in my head is not the same as the context in other people's heads. Many allusions, metaphors, and references I use in my speech, turn out wrong when read by people of other cultures, religious upbringings, political ideologies, and languages. Debian, because it is so international in scope, with such a diverse developer base, is far more prone to such misunderstandings than most voluntary gatherings of people.

It wasn't my intention to start multiple flame wars. I'm an Irish bulldog by temperament, and that means I love a good heated discussion, with everyone going to the pub for cheery beer afterward. It seems many in Debian have more sensitive personality types, and they have a hard time putting their differences aside after the fun is all over. So, for the past year I've trained myself to back away from potential flame-fests before they explode.

I hate repeating myself, which, in a context-free environment like email, is really essential. I often think if I'd used three, four, or five times as many words, spelling out in detail what I assumed people already knew, people would have had a hard time being offended by what I had to say.

Finally, when people make agressive, rude, and insulting remarks, I've had a hard time in the past not sending in witty one-line rejoinders. I've stopped these, for the most part, since the recipients only get more angry, without putting in the mental effort to get the point.

Voltaire would never have lasted long in Debian, bless his freethinking soul.

What would you do differently now to prevent such heated debates in Debian mailing lists? (I will not even mention the biggest flame-war in the history of debian-private in January 2004 :))

If you have two parties to a transaction, and one party isn't having fun, then it isn't fun for anyone. I try to limit myself to technical discussions on IRC and in the mailing lists these days, since many people have made it apparent they weren't having fun. A witty put-down by a popular developer causes laughter; when someone is defending an unpopular viewpoint his witty comebacks and slaughtering of sacred cows only causes outrage.


You didn't ask me directly about the whole debian-women fiasco. But I'll tell you anyway. :-)

Ten years ago, trying to break into the industry as a Unix System administrator, I was turned down time and again. Each time there would be a woman, or a aboriginal person, or a gay or disabled person with no training or Unix knowledge who would be hired, because of the affirmative action rules the government of Canada had chosen to finally start enforcing at that time. I did finally find work with small companies that didn't care what color I was, as long as the work got done.

When I joined Debian, nine years ago, it was more like a pure meritocracy. At last, a place where anyone could contribute. After all, on the Internet, noone knows if you are an elephant or a Martian. Finally, a place free of affirmative action and limits on free speech; just a bunch of people doing their best to make something great. You stand or fall on your own merits. Freethinking and refusal to compromise with political correctness was the order of the day. I was in heaven.

When I saw the charter of Debian-Woman, and the type of posts certain people were making, I saw the end of paradise, a fall from grace, as certain parties made it clear their goal with D-W to bring all the politically correct affirmative action crap in, in the name of "being nice", even if that meant compromising the project itself.

This concerned me; I wanted women to be able to participate in Debian, without changing our performance oriented nature.

I've worked on construction sites. Construction workers have a meritocracy of their own, similar to that in the Free Software world. Either you perform, or you get out. The sex ratio in construction is the same as what I've observed in Free Software, and I suspect, for the same reasons.

Anyhow, this was my intent.

Although Debian-Women banished me from all of their communication channels, and made me their "posterboy", several feminists who posted to the Debian-Women list, saying the SAME THINGS I was.

How saying, were also run off, banished. Various women emailed me in private saying they agreed with what I was saying, but were too intimidated to speak up in the Debian-Women project lest they be run off and harassed as well.

You see, I support a woman's right to have a career and a family. When I brought up the fact that women have some UNIQUE abilities that men do not have, abilities which must be exercised if society is to survive, that outraged those who were trying to push their agenda through the Debian-Women subproject using Debians own resources.

A friend helped me realize why my posts were so controversial; most Europeans and Left-wing Americans have been raised with femininity as their "fnord", their taboo, their shibboleth. To mention child-bearing or child-raising is to trigger in their propagandized heads the image of thousands of years of slavery, chained to a kitchen stove, naked, barefoot, covered with bruises and black eyes, with a dozen screaming babies crawling over their feet twenty-four hours a day.

Now, such an image is far from reality and pure nonsense. Nor would I ever endorse such a scenario. Women have an important job to do in our society which ONLY THEY are capable of doing, and deserve to be amply rewarded for doing it. I would do it if I could. Really.

In today's automated society, and even in the more enlightened societies of ancient times, women could have families AND the leisure to engage in projects like Debian.

I feel women should be able to participate in Debian without compromising their femininity, and WITHOUT PENALIZING the male members of Debian for their masculinity. Yet that is the direction I saw the Debian-Women group going in.

My favorite feminist author, Germaine Greer, said that Western society as a whole hates children. It would rather import grown adults than integrate its own youngsters. The behavior I witnessed on Debian-Women proved that she was right.

Anyone who consults the mailing list archives can see that my bad behavior consists almost entirely of voicing opinions, in a reasonable, calm way, that didn't jive with the equalitarian brainwashing we all experience. I was doing the mental equivalent of chasing a bobcat up a tree; there is nothing more dangerous than a cornered animal, or a person who feels their very reality is threatened.

Diplomacy and PR effects

I would like to reiterate another question from last years debate: if you're elected as a DPL and if one of your activities done without your DPL hat on would start to affect Debian's image negatively in a real and unmistakable way, would you stop that activity to minimize damage to the project?

Absolutely. I'd stop the activity right away.

Could you please tell us more about ?

Back in the day, IRC was the best Linux support medium available. A lot of people got a lot of help. But a lot of people never got any help. I wrote the IRC Help HOWTO to give Joe Average some survival skills in an environment with almost no emotional context or cues, and where many people like to take out their aggression on innocent bystanders.

And what about ?

I think the article speaks well for itself. I may have views that are offensive to some vocal entities, but I arrive at them through careful reason and study of facts. Fearlessness, reasonableness to the point of self-harm, and willingness to see every side of every story works well when you have two conflicting parties that really do want to arrive at a solution. In the Firefox/Firebird conflict, that attitude was the right one.

It doesn't work well though unless people are getting a lot of pressure to re-examine their assumptions. I re-examine two or three fundamental assumptions almost every day.

I can be a silver-tongued Irishman when I want to be. :-)

Religion related issues

Religion in general

You look to be a very religious person and there has been a lot of concern about that, so some of my questions will be related to that. I personally do not believe in any gods and I think that all religions were made up by rulers of the time to have better control over peoples' minds.

I wouldn't go that far. I believe most religions developed organically, hand in glove with the natures and sensitivities of the cultures they represented. But I agree that religion serves as a type of governing mechanism for society. Even today we don't have enough technology to force people to do things they don't want to; therefore people must be self-governing. That means you have to implant their moral and ethical sense at an early age, so they govern themselves in ways that are compatible with the rest of society. When you change the religion, you change the society itself. Religion is only controls society in the sense that DNA and genes control human beings.

I not sure if it is of much interest to many out there, but for my reference, what exactly is your religion?

I'm not sure if there is a name for it. I follow the Law of Moses. I eat kosher, wear tzitzit, and keep all the other mitzvot. I have the most in common with the Karaites, except I believe in Jesus, and also practice bits of the Law that even they don't follow anymore, such as keeping Pesach according to the instructions in Exodus 12.

Human rights vs. Gods blessings

In you say that "I am not a believer in 'rights'. My God hands out blessings and cursings.". This phrase alone would ignite a lot of criticism and (maybe) misunderstanding. One would argue that it is not up to god to give out human rights, but it rather the job of the human society, which it has done well via the universal human rights declaration. Could you please elaborate on you view on human rights and what do you mean in quote above?

You may have noticed I have the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on my website, along with the Bill of Rights, and some other historical documents.

My view on human rights is that in the end, you face consequences for your actions, and the highest court in the land cannot protect your "rights" if you are unpopular. So the concept of rights is meaningless. A person has to be pragmatic and go with what works. Abstract reasoning ideals are very Greek, antithetical to Semitic thought. I should point out that Richard Feynman, possibly the greatest physicist of all time, solved problem after problem because he tossed Greek abstraction out on its ear with his Semitic empiricism.

So you do respect the rights declared in the Universal Humar Rights Declaration?

Almost everything in the Universal Declaration is taken from the Law of Moses, so yes, I respect the heck out of the "rights" outlined therein.

I desire to be peaceable with all men. As long as noone prevents me from following the Torah, we'll all get along fine.

When speaking of rights I was contrasting arrogance with humility. It is about frame of reference more than anything. Does man arrogantly take what he wants from nature, because he has "rights", or does he humbly accept his place in nature and try to work within it to bless everyone?

Racism, interracial marriage and incest

In you recommend this essay: . The essay clearly states that the bible is against interracial marriages or even marriages with people from neighborhood villages. Also the essay shows the bible favoring incest to interracial marriage. What is you opinion about the essay?

I thought the essay was refreshingly unconventional. Most people who debunk racism from the Bible do it in a hand-waving and dismissive way, without getting into the actual issues involved. The author of the article actually did do the leg-work of researching all the facts in the ground and putting them together in a coherent way. That alone, is valuable, knowing what the Bible really has to say.

It takes a strong mind to think deeply and rationally on topics that are taboo and forbidden. I honor that, even when I disagree with the conclusions people come to.

As another example, I disagree with abortion, but for the same reasons as outlined above, I posted a deeply-thought out and well-informed article that claims abortion is lawful in the Bible. You can read it here:

What is your opinion on bible recommending incest?

I was not aware that the Bible recommended incest. My study of genetics shows that incest creates a Balkanized, splintered world as the genetic diversity mushrooms uncontrollably. Not really desirable for building stable societies.

Incest in Bible from the essay above:

"The post-Flood chosen line diversified very slowly. Abraham married his half-sister. Abraham's brother Nahor married his niece, and these were the grandparents of Rebekah. Isaac was specifically forbidden from marrying a Canaanite and was paired instead with Rebekah, his cousin. Abraham commanded his chief slave, "I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac" (Gen. 24:2-4)."

Is that not a clear message that Bible prefers incest over interracial marriages?

In my experience with farm animals and breeding dogs and hamsters, incest is the main technique used today, and always has been, to stabilize and establish a new breed. Incest accelerates the rate of mutation, outbreeding reduces it. Once you have the breed where you want it, then you back off on the incest to stop it from diverging any farther. That is why the Bible forbids brother-sister marriages. Cousin-marriages have been practiced throughout the world and history, and the taboo against them is an extremely modern and misguided Western prejudice, like the laws penalizing alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana consumption.

What is your opinion about interracial marriage?

My observation is that most people who married outside their race had a grudge against their family or their culture and society, or feel they don't fit into it for some reason. Often, these grudges are justifiable. Why walk down the hall for a drink when there's a water fountain right next to you? You need a reason to put out extra effort to court and marry someone of a different race.

What would you do/say if one of your daughters decided to marry a person of different race?

Being half Filipino, half Irish, it will be rather hard for her to marry someone of the SAME race. I'll love her no matter who she marries.

Globalization and multiculture

Isn't the author of being ignorant about the very religion he seems to be supporting and mixing the Tower of Babel (an act of people trying to be better then God) with the universal language that was the common language of the mankind. The author seems to assume for given that uniting nations would bring another punishment from Gog (unlike all the supertowers that are like hundreds of times higher then the Tower of Babel). What do you think about that fact bending to justify dislike to people of different races socializing?

I didn't see anything in there that was opposed to different races socializing. The problem was with the whole One World Order concept, which destroys diversity and leads to monoculture, things which are universally recognized to be bad in agriculture. I don't believe humans are above the Laws of Nature; they apply to us as much as to plants and animals. Heck, diversity of operating systems is even recognized to be beneficial; diversity is a good thing across the board.

However, abolishing of national boundaries is a violation on the national level of the earlier commandment not to move your neighbors land marker. In modern language that means "don't sneak into the county commisioners office and modify the survey map in your favor". Bible. Deuteronomy 32:7,8 (the Song of Moses) says God separated the nations. Genesis 10:32 says which nations they were divided into. Genesis 11:4 says that the problem at Babel wasn't that men were competing with God; it was that they were resisting the implementation of diversity. Acts 17:27 says that the reason for separating the nations was so that each nation would be better able to come to God. This sounds to me similar to the reasoning of people that send their children to all-girl or all-boy schools. The children at such schools do seem to come out with higher marks.

To be a nation means to have borders, and to have lands that noone can take away from you, guaranteed by God himself. The principle of non-alienable land rights is very fundamental, and was supposed to extend down to the tribal, clan, and family level.

Multiculturalism is communism applied to nations. Under communism, you don't have any property rights; when you die your house returns to the state, who might give it to a complete stranger. Under the Law of Moses, your children inherit your land, although strangers are welcome to rent it from you. It all works out though, because the stranger has lands that they have hereditary rights to as well. If a refugee is fleeing oppression, the right thing to do is to let him stay with you a while, then help him return to his native land with the resources and manpower to put and end to the oppression. You never know when it will be you that needs to flee, and if you helped your neighbor to get his land back, then you'll have a place to stay when your turn comes.

By your principle of Gods given land, occupying land of another nation is a sin. USA and Canada are formed almost exclusively out of people that occupied those territories from native inhabitants. So - are these countries ungodly countries? Or does the "Gods given land" migrate with time along the people and simply means "my people lived here longer then your people" or "I was born here, you were not"?

God gave the land of the Canaanites to Israel because the Canaanites were being unusually bad. Not only did he divide the nations, but he can redivide them if he chooses to. Without better knowing how much of American history you know, I don't care to speak about the case of the USA and Canada; the truth needs context, just as a diamond needs gold to form a ring.

I will say this; an understanding of the mandate laid out in the Bible, and of who those ancient nations and tribes have become today, will match up with history in an uncanny way. I recommend the books by Steven Collins and The Other End of the World, by physics professor Roger Rusk.

Jews and Law of Moses

What do you think about Jews, really?

As far as I'm concerned, anyone with the last name of Cohen or Levi should get first pick of any government or administrative offices, such as supreme court judges, lawyers, senators, congressmen, presidents, high school principals, chairman of the Federal Reserve, etc. Those were their hereditary positions under the Law of Moses, and I don't see any provisions to cancel that. This also entitles them to 10% of the net revenue of the nation, to do with as they please.

Why do you think that that Moses Law applies to any modern society?

Because the Law of Moses are actually sociological laws, based on human nature. They are like the law of gravity; you can disobey them all you want; the consequences are inevitable. No skin off my back what you choose to do. You can pretend gravity doesn't exist too. I don't really care. I'll do what works for me, and we can see how it all turns out in the end.

They do not inherit obligations or laws from the societies of that time, so even if there were privileges defined in some law in that specific 12 nations, those laws do not apply in any way to any other nation out there regardless of number of Jewish people there.

The prophet Jeremiah (at the end of chapter 12) said that the laws applied to every nation, not just the Jews. Most Jews I meet try to keep the Torah to themselves, as a sort of secret weapon.

The entitlements of the Levites were "forever". I don't know how long forever is, but I know it hasn't arrived yet. The Cohens and Levi's are not only Jews, but Levites. Counterbalancing their entitlement to 10% of a nations net revenue is the fact they aren't allowed to own land, and must be held accountable to the same laws they are expected to judge others by. Current Jewish practice is quite far from this.

For example USA has been founded without any reference to adherence to any Jewish laws, so no Jewish laws apply to USA. Don't you agree?

The Torah applies to the USA the same as the laws of physics do.

The personal letters, diaries, and public writings of the founding fathers show that their intent was that the USA be a Torah-keeping, Jesus-believing nation.

This article gives a reasonably quick summary of the topic:

Children vs. parents

What did you mean by "Seducing a man's daughter is usurpation; for when she is defiled, he cannot sell her for a good price, or make a good match for her." at ? Do you think that if there is a daughter in a family, this girl belongs to the father? She is not a independent human being?

Noone is independent. From cradle to grave, we depend on the people around us. Dependency leads to duties, obligations, and reciprocity. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. If a man didn't get some benefit from having children, would hormones be enough to make him have children anyway?

When you consume someones food and live under their roof, you do incur duty and obligation.

Dr. Daniel Amneus covered this topic fairly well in his book "Garbage Generation"

The only biological reason to our existence is continuation of our genetic line. Raising good and healthy children is the only way to accomplish that. Given that, is not the investment into a child only an act of selfcontinuation for which the children have no reason to be indebted to? Also you only say that a girl belongs to her father, but never that boy belongs to his father or that both of them belong to their mother too, why do you make that distinction?

The first commandment (found in Genesis 1:28) was to become many. Not us only, as humans, but all forms of life are supposed to flourish in abundance, and it is our job to aid and abet that. Driving species into extinction is a direct violation of our mandate.

So, passing on your genes is a holy duty. So is honoring your parents; after all, it is really THEIR genes you are passing on.

We all depend on each other. I said a daughter belongs to her father in the context of who she will marry; a good father also has a lot of power over his son, since he controls the only land the son is allowed to inherit.

Passing on your genes is not enough to perpetuate them; you have to look at the big picture. You have to treat your wife well, so she will want to look after your children. You have to get along with your neighbors so they don't kill your children. You need to be able to pass on your accumulated knowledge to your children. Where are the watering holes, who are your enemies, who are your friends, who will betray you, who won't, when is the next year the Thread will fall, that sort of thing.

Also, you need some guarantees that the children really are yours, and that they will perpetuate your line, and not someone elses line. That means having them marry close in. The daughters of Zelophehad were not to marry outside their tribe because otherwise the land of their tribe would have gone over to another tribe, thus changing tribal boundaries.

Most of Europe's wars in the Middle Ages would have been avoided if the royalty had remained connected to their local kin groups instead of intermarrying with each other so everyone had a duchy here, a province there, always leading to the need for wars of consolidation and repatriation. England would not have ended up with a German monarch, nor Greece with a Danish monarch.

My thoughts after the interview

This interview came to life in multiple stages or waves in which the contents became more clear and detailed. In the end I came away with an impression of a person that thinks much of the religion - the topic that I do not know much about, because I do not see it as being an important topic in a life of a reasonable person nowadays. In contrast to me Ted seems to be building his very life on religion, seeking answers in ancient texts and, strangely enough, finding some that are quite coherent. I am not sure whether all the knowledge embedded into the structure of Christian and Jewish religions is relevant today - societies have changed rapidly with the abilities that people have gained trough modern technology. Ancient knowledge must be carefully reevaluated before applying it today. But to do that one must first understand what was the motivation behind the knowledge at that time, an I think that Ted is slowly moving towards that understanding in ways that other people would not want nor dear go.

I do not see Ted as being a racist or a particularly strong anti-feminist, especially if we talk about practical questions and not just pure theory. In theory Ted might have been enjoying the role of a devils advocate a bit too much a few years back earning him the reputation that is now almost impossible to erase from people memories.

Regarding Debian related issues Ted has shown pragmatism sometime even better then other candidates. I even have some concerns regarding debian-women project where before I had none - it is true that DD's should be evaluated on neutral criteria only and that any kind of favoritism to women, racial groups, sexual minorities or any other groups of people will compromise the meritocratic foundation of Debian. I mean - it is ok to help a person become a better DD, but the difficulty of NM testing must just as strict as for any other candidate. And also it would be nice to have the training materials available to all interested people and from time to time train not only women, but also some shy (and in some way feministic) men. And from what I have heard from the project, they have come to the same decisions too and actually do all of that for some time already, so these worries are purely theoretical.

Verdict: I will not say that I call to vote Ted for DPL, but I can definitely say that I will vote Ted over NOTA this year. I am very sure that Ted will not be elected DPL for at least another 3-4 years, but I really think that he deserves to be preferred over the NOTA.