There's been some nice work done lately on boot time in Mandriva: hotplug has been mostly eradicated in favour of udev, which has made significant inroads on the fairly slobby boot of 2005 LE. Current Cooker boots - including loading X, but not GNOME - in 44 seconds on my system, which is a 30 second improvement over 2005 - not bad. The process is really pretty efficient now. Here's the graph from the excellent bootchart utility, which was produced as part of Fedora's own boot time reduction drive.bootchart graph

the wire

I started watching The Wire on DVD, and am having to re-evaluate my long-held opinion that Homicide is the best TV show ever. Wire is written by the guy who wrote the book on which Homicide is based (and who was a scriptwriter for later Homicide seasons) and shares a lot of stuff with both the book and the series, and it's got to be at least as good. It's basically an extremely realistic police show (the writer, the guy discussed above, wrote his book after spending a year inside the Baltimore city homicide department, and the show steals a lot of stuff that was printed as fact in the book and, you feel, a lot of stuff that wasn't printed but is equally factual...) full of departmental fuck-ups, cover-ups, bureaucracy, politics, ass covering, ass kissing and - occasionally - police work. That's good enough, but somehow it's the other side of the show - where it covers life on a Baltimore drug corner more or less dispassionately, letting the sheer hideousness of the whole circus make its own impression - which stands out. The humorous moments work brilliantly; the opening conversation of the entire series, taken from the original Homicide book, is a conversation between a cop and a murder witness in which the witness tells the cop a guy was killed because, every week, he took the pot of the local craps game and ran. When the cop asks why they let him in the game when he always just stole the pot and ran, the witness says "this is America, man!" Apart from that, there's the corner boys, on one show discussing what happened to the guy who invented chicken mcnuggets, on the next show just lying asleep on a big red couch in the middle of their corner, surrounded by crap and dirt. But every so often you just get whacked with the massive inhumanity of the scene, the game, they all just accept as the whole background to their lives - the fucked up junkies, the endless brutality and violence. It's just an absolutely flawless show. Pick it up if you see the DVDs.

The definition of irony

"Only with an honest attitude towards history can a nation win reconciliation and then integrate into the global community," the China Daily said.

good day

Had a day full of sport today and went 4 for 4 - I played tennis in the morning and won, 7-5 7-6 (7-1). In the afternoon I went to see the Canadians again, they beat Spokane 2-0 in a well-pitched game - the Canadians starter went eight and only gave up a couple of hits. When I got home I watched the Mets beat up on the Cubs 9-5, and then this evening watched the BC Lions (local football team) beat Edmonton in a tight game to go to 6-0 on the season. So yay for that! I even managed to get some shopping and work done somewhere in the middle, too...


Haven't had time to write for a while, and a silent override of my httpd.conf apparently broke most of the site. Ah well. Fixed. Recently, I've played lots more tennis (I lost the second round of 3.0 at Stanley Park, but I really shouldn't have - played terribly), done piles of work, cleaned the kitchen about fifty thousand times and, uh, probably some other stuff too.

Been playing Alien Hominid for PS2 lately - great fun, even though it is just Metal Slug with cool cartoon graphics and (even) more aliens.

This afternoon we went to see the local minor league team, the Vancouver Canadians - lots of fun, and we won with a walk-off infield single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth. Hey, they all count! Only bad point was I forgot to take sunblock and now have incredibly red knees. Ah, well. I'm hoping to go to the Vancouver Open tomorrow - it's an ATP Challenger tennis tournament being held in Vancouver, and Andy Murray's playing.

Mandriva is a big ball of fun lately, what with the old domain names going down very abruptly (one more consequence of the darn Hearst lawsuit) and breaking all sorts of things, and the Online maintainer going on vacation just as Online pretty much stopped working. Wahay. Still, on the plus side, 2006 seems to be shaping up quite nicely - lots of encouraging feedback on the betas so far (as well as the traditional brown paper bag bugs and large features being thrown in in the middle of the beta cycle...but hey, without that, it wouldn't be Mandriva...)


The Stanley Park Open started yesterday, and I've played twice so far. Lost in the opening round of 3.5 (boo!), 6-2 6-1 (it was actually surprisingly close - 9 deuce games), but won the first round of 3.0 (yay!), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1. Not bad for my first try! Not sure when my next round is yet - the match to decide who my opponent is happens 5pm Monday, so I expect it'll be Tuesday. It'll be fun to see how far I can get.


Ah, how I love British newspapers. Following what happened in London today, I see this gem in the Daily Telegraph (nuttier than the Times, less so than the Mail):

"Make no mistake Britain will almost certainly have to sacrifice some of our ancient legal rights if we wish to protect our citizens."

"Make no mistake"? Well, I'd sure love to get a look at their tea leaves. No-one else yet knows how the bombs were planted, by who, or why - yet somehow the Telegraph knows, to a certainty, that sacrificing our ancient legal rights is clearly the way to go about stopping this happening again? Well, they've convinced me. Why don't we all go get a copy of Magna Carta and have a bonfire? Yeesh.

Moving, redux

Wow, what a busy week. Unpacking huge quantities of boxes, cleaning floors, assembling furniture, cleaning floors again, hanging up speakers, realising speakers are in really silly places and re-hanging them, doing laundry...I need several days of sleep.

The new apartment is great, except for one thing - it's a good four degrees hotter than the previous one, which is a little uncomfortable (and causes all my computers to be worryingly close to overheating). Luckily, we have a balcony, where we can sit to escape the heat.

I just registered for my first tennis tournament (well, since I was 9, or something), and it happens to be North America's biggest tennis tournament, which is a tiny bit scary :). Of course, it's all split into categories, so I'm entering the 3.0 and 3.5 level singles. Hope it'll be fun. I played a great match this morning and squeaked it, 7-5 6-7 6-4. I've never hit so many overheads in a match in my life, which was pleasing. Serve's still off, though I hit some lovely short volleys.

Work has been suffering a little - I've just about managed to keep up with the forums and my email bin, but had to put off the newsletter for a few days, working on that now. Have been chasing people around trying to find out fairly important information about various questions Club members have, which is always a fun task. This is the one thing that would work much better if I was in the head office...


I played really nicely yesterday, came out 6-1, 6-1, 6-2, 6-0. Feel tempted to say I would've done better than bloody Henman, the way he played Wimbledon. Every single time I've ever seen him lose a match, he's spent half of it camped out on the baseline, hitting ineffective sliced backhands to the middle of the court. I mean, for pity's sake, no matter how much he moans about the surface, all the considerable ingenuity of the All England Club has not yet prevailed in slowing it down to the speed of clay, and he nearly made the final of the French last year by playing his natural (and highly effective) net game, so as I see it he can just shut up moaning and get back to the frickin' net. Murray won't make it to next week, I don't think, so that's it for the British interest. I suppose I have to cheer for Taylor Dent or something, now.

I'm moving house right now, so I apologise if I'm a bit less dynamic than usual on the work front. I'm not exactly neglecting anything, but I'm only checking the forums once a day and I've put all non-essential stuff on hold, while I pack things. We move on Monday, so stuff should get back to normal then. Always assuming they get the internet hooked up right, or else I'll be on my cellphone...