Getting fit

Thanks to a contest on a local photo site, I got a free day at a fitness center. I actually did not expect to win it, so I only logged in to the site at 19:00 at the day. Imagine my disappointment when I read the message saying "You won a free pass to our fitness centre for *today*" after scrolling trough the message, another part of it sprang me back to 'happy mode' - "today we'll work 'till 22:00". Goodie. Lets get rolling...
After finding the place on the map I was quite certain that I'll have no problem getting there by bike (my preferred inter-city transport), so off I went. At one point along the way I took a wrong turn and got very lost. After 20 minutes I decided to ask locals for directions. I was so much off that they didn't even know the street I was searching for. Doh!
Luckily I spotted a bus with an ad of the fitness centre I was searching for and went to the direction it came from. After five more minutes I stumbled upon a street map (one of banks uses street maps as a very practical advertisement) and finally found my way to the place.
The place was nice. I've not been to a dedicated fitness club before, but I can imagine it can be a lot of fun after a long office day especially if you take a few of your friends with you. Try it - you might like it.

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Ars Technica - Reviews - Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
What would you expect from a review of a point release of a operating system? About the same as you would expect from the point release itself.
This one had much more then I exected. First of all the changes are reviewed on a very deep level starting from the kernel level changes and their implications to lack or appearance of a one pixel line in the interface.
I must say that this article showed me a lot of new and interesting ideas from the Tiger (and some from the old releases), what Spotlight is and isn't, how extended attributes work and what they do or could do, Quarz engine, Finder changes and a lot of new stuff.
Best of all this is not another "whoo whoo" review - mistakes are shown, old unsolved issues are brought up, potential further improvements are shown. But also the most important of 200+ improvements are reviewed.
I must say that this is a must-read for all developers starting from kernel and filesystem writers to interface designers.

LWN: An amd64 Debian sarge release in the works

LWN: An amd64 Debian sarge release in the works
I really hope that this release will work out fine and that it will also demonstrate feasibility of independant arhitecture specific teams doing releases for SCC arhitectures of Debian of post-Sarge.
I don't see in the problem package list. Does that mean it works on amd64 now? Should investigate that, but I don't have an amd64 workstation available currently.

separate 'Out of Debian' blog?

Actually there seams not too much of the world outside Debian for me, BUT today I discovered for myself a concept of biofilms. It came up with a chat with a beutiful girl that aims to study microbiology.
It appears like bacteria floating in water and bacteria attached to a surface are two compleatly different things. When bacteria joing a biofilm colony it activates different genes and starts producing 'glue' to attach to the carrier surface. Many bacteria can have their resistances increased by a factor of 1000, the colony can even have a rudimental work separation among the bacteria. Thus a primitive selforganising multicell organism is formed.
And somehow I again start to see the relation of this to the free software community ... oh, no - I am hopeless! :D

The Deamon, the Gnu and the Penguin

The Deamon, the Gnu and the Penguin (chapters 4 & 5)
It is really fun to read about the earlyest history of computer software. Especially it is fun to see how for most of the computerized history of the world, the software has been free in all sences of the word.
Evolution on networking and text editors is detailed in these chapters. The only names I would recognise right away are vi and Emacs. Guess what! They have common ancestors :) As they say - relatives fight harder then strangers.
It was quite a revelation to me how instrumental UUCP was for the creation of Net and particulary - UseNet.
As usual on Groklaw, the comments are quite revealling too: bang-path email addresses, phone tariffs, flame about too litle mentioning of RMS, and even some OT post about bananas :)
All in all - a fascinating read that will be assembled into a book. Now thats one more reserved space on the bookshelf.


Another fine episode of Dr. Who brought to non-U.K. populace of the world by the digital wonders of BitTorrent has just gone trought my screen. I must say that I am in love with these series since I've seen the first episode of the new Doctor.
While the humor is a bit thin and plots are even thinner, the sincerity and quality of production give some kind of a warm feeling about it even if you're not British. It is fun to see celebrities staring in Dr. Who and very good shots of the modern London that the producers were able to do just because it was for Dr. Who. I doubth that they'd allow this amount of shooting in London for any other series.
And the best thing is ... we'll see a Dalek next week!

Masters paper

It is one year 'till I'll have to present my master thesis. Today I've been thinking that my current topic "AOP crosscut and UML" is not really my thing as it involves a lot of formal logic and mathematical manipulations with said logic. And I am not that math inclined anymore. Any deviation from current topic will also mean a need to change my professor and I kind of dislike that.
On the other hand I was thinking about alternate topics - about things that I'd like to research. It seams that currently I seam to become much more inclined to writing about open source and project management, but AOP has also slipped into my mind as an interesting concept with a possibility of use not only in programing, but also in project management or even in complex organizational structures. Therefore the possible topics include:

  1. Management of Open Source projects - a cookbook for an open source project manager
  2. Howto Open Source your software - guidelines for businesses willing to open source the software they developed - what, how, why, when to open source and how to manage both the software and the rest of the business after that
  3. Aspect Oriented organizational structures - for example, a larger corporation with many regional branches could have a separate IT branch that would directly control IT departments of all branches and then these IT departments would cooperate with the respective branch office as with a regular client.
I am also thinking about a professor that could take me on board. And I acctualy have one in mind. He is a top manager in one of the largest Latvian software companies and he has been quite nice to me before in a open source related maters. :)

Planeting and revisoring

I just returned from the member meeting of Latvian IKT Association. The meeting was fun - I was poking in every possible legal issue that I could find in the voting process for the new board and even a young lawyer woman that was invited to the meeting to provide some legal support could not answer most of my questions and after law digging and discussion was forced to agree with me on almost every issue I brought up.

The ending was even more fun as they played back on me by electing me on the revisor board of the association. Doh! :)

P.S. First post on the planet.d.o, thanks to Mako for pointing to joining instructions and to Keybuk for setting this up.

Exim fuckup

I spoke too soon - Exim gave up on me failing to start with an obscure message:
Exim configuration error in line 301 of /var/lib/exim4/config.autogenerated: group mail was not found

The group 'mail' was still there and id and getent commands confirmed it. With help from I was able to figure out that /etc/groups had permissions of 0600 which made it unreadable for anyone except root. Doh!