One less SUV

If anyone actually reads doonesbury (on slate now), they might remember a short segment about people gtting SUV tickets – ones that tell people that their car gives really sucky gas mileage, and burns a hole in the environment. Earth On Empty have created the tickets that you too can use in your neighborhood. that loophole needs to be closed. Strangely enough, the loophole has been there since the Clinton administration!


Today/Tomorrow my mother is getting a stent put in, which is a wire tube put in to keep the artery open after an angioplasty. Our family being the conversationalists that they are are keeping this a secret form one another. It’s only by phoning people directly that we find out what’s happening, my mom doesn’t want to tell anyone that it’s going on.
I’ve just been informed that this is just suspected, there is no absolute certainty about this as the doctor has not got back in touch with my mother yet. Sheesh! This is compounded by the fact that I’m in New York this week, and they are in Cork, Ireland.

Like anyone cares

Wheee…. the holiday has started. I’m in the transfer lounge of Heathrow waiting to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur.
I so need this holiday.

Why should I care what color the bikeshed is?

The really, really short answer is that you should not. The somewhat longer answer is that just because you are capable of building a bikeshed does not mean you should stop others from building one just because you do not like the color they plan to paint it. This is a metaphor indicating that you need not argue about every little feature just because you know enough to do so. Some people have commented that the amount of noise generated by a change is inversely proportional to the complexity of the change.

The longer and more complete answer is that after a very long argument about whether sleep(1) should take fractional second arguments, Poul-Henning Kamp <> posted a long message entitled “A bike shed (any colour will do) on greener grass…”. The appropriate portions of that message are quoted below.

“What is it about this bike shed?” Some of you have asked me.

It is a long story, or rather it is an old story, but it is quite short actually. C. Northcote Parkinson wrote a book in the early 1960s, called “Parkinson’s Law”, which contains a lot of insight into the dynamics of management.

[snip a bit of commentary on the book]

In the specific example involving the bike shed, the other vital component is an atomic power-plant, I guess that illustrates the age of the book.

Parkinson shows how you can go into the board of directors and get approval for building a multi-million or even billion dollar atomic power plant, but if you want to build a bike shed you will be tangled up in endless discussions.

Parkinson explains that this is because an atomic plant is so vast, so expensive and so complicated that people cannot grasp it, and rather than try, they fall back on the assumption that somebody else checked all the details before it got this far. Richard P. Feynmann gives a couple of interesting, and very much to the point, examples relating to Los Alamos in his books.

A bike shed on the other hand. Anyone can build one of those over a weekend, and still have time to watch the game on TV. So no matter how well prepared, no matter how reasonable you are with your proposal, somebody will seize the chance to show that he is doing his job, that he is paying attention, that he is here.

In Denmark we call it “setting your fingerprint”. It is about personal pride and prestige, it is about being able to point somewhere and say “There! I did that.” It is a strong trait in politicians, but present in most people given the chance. Just think about footsteps in wet cement.

–Poul-Henning Kamp <> on freebsd-hackers, October 2, 1999

not to bring peace…

William Sloan Coffin – Not to Bring Peace, But a Sword Another article abut america’s place in the world.
But for more interesting things there’s the Squeezebox… and I want one. Of course as soon as I buy one it will be for sale really really cheap.
Dave commented about the Cluetrain Manifesto being available on mp3 format… I bought it in Boston a couple of years ago on CD and it’s in my mp3 collection (under spoken word, along with my granfather’s memoirs of the Irish Civil War, and the Irish War of Independence).
Crap; I am so bloody tired from yesterday. I was literally working until 3am so I’m having a lie-in.

Three Laptops

Well, I just spent about 2 hours installing 3 Toshiba Portégé M100 laptops with the latest build of Solaris. Quite easy once I figured out that one of the network cables was a POS and was causing all the NFS traffice to fail. Video was a snap – configure the XF86 i810 driver. It recognized the network card immediately. The only thing is the sound. The drivers are at, which covers that.
3 laptops installing solaris

Time for a wee bit of math (minimap)

We have the X position:
– getMapXPos()
this is a fraction of the overall display:
(getMapXPos() / getMapWidth())
multiply by the width of the display.
Making sure to order them such that there is never a zero value
for the multiplication.