Tag Archives: blogging

Poking head up for a moment

So, turns out that the birth of a new baby does reduce the amount of time available to other activities.  With the baby turning 2 years old soon, and starting to do things on her own, I might be able to get back to writing here again in a while.

So, what have I been up to?  My stack of books to be read continues to grow much more quickly than I can possibly read them.  Right now, I’m reading

I’ve had to cut my list of authors to read down quite a bit recently, just to keep my stack of books from growing too much.  I still prefer physical books to e-books, though there are many times I’ve wished that I could continue a book on my phone while waiting for something.  I’m not willing to pay twice for the same book for that privilege, and the Amazon Unlimited books don’t seem to have much overlap with my reading list, so I haven’t signed up for that.

Meanwhile, Chin Yi and I managed to watch a movie this week, .

With the baby going to sleep around 10:00, and various chores to finish off after that, it can take a few nights to get through a movie.

I’m posting now mostly because I want to continue using my Amazon API account when running the tellico program to keep track of books and movies that I own.  They changed their terms today, and so I had to sign up as an Associate, to put in advertising links to their products.

Unreachable server

While I was away on vacation, the server hosting this blog become unresponsive, twice.

The first failure was a kernel oops shortly after mounting my backup disc

kernel BUG at mm/slab.c:3109!

invalid opcode: 0000 [#1] PREEMPT SMP

It was several days before somebody with a key could get to the computer and restart it.  A week later, shortly before I returned from vacation, the machine become unreachable again.  This time, when I came into the house, I could hear a continuous audible alarm from the UPS.  I reset that, and the machine came up and worked normally.

So, two apparently unrelated problems knocking the machine offline when I wasn’t around to handle it.  I checked my SMART logs for the backup disc, there’s no sign that it’s a hardware issue, and the UPS logs are entirely empty of anything incriminating.

If I figure out the causes of either of these failures, I’ll update this post.

Update #1: 2014-06-20

The UPS triggered its alarm again this morning, and the server lost power.  The UPS is an APC Back-UPS ES 750, and a continuous tone indicates that the battery is missing or has failed.  I’ve replaced the battery, and hope that the issue does not repeat.

Captchas enabled

I’ve enabled captchas on the site, using the WordPress plugin here.  The site was gathering a few hundred spams a day for moderation, which is just too annoying.  I’ve selected numbers only, no words, because Chin Yi’s postings are in traditional Chinese , and that’s the native language of this WordPress installation… it might confuse English visitors to be asked to solve for X in:  X – 六 = 9

I’ll be watching the moderation queue for indications of problems.

Formatting code for the blog

In case people were wondering how the code I’ve been posting has been formatted, here’s the procedure.

This blog is running on a WordPress installation.  I’ve installed the “Raw HTML” plugin.  This allows me to insert HTML directly into postings by surrounding them with “[raw]” and “[/raw]” in the text input mode.

I program in emacs, so I just needed an emacs package to convert the buffer to HTML.  I started out trying to use the built-in htmlfontify-buffer function, but it produced HTML with CSS elements that affected the rest of the page.  So, after looking around a bit, I settled on htmlize, which is available at this location.

So, load the code to be rendered, load the htmlize library, and run htmlize-buffer.  This creates a new buffer holding the HTML version of the displayed text, ready to be copied into the blogging software.

Pharyngula readers in Ottawa

PZ over at Pharyngula reports that readers of his blog are meeting up in various places. Well, if there are any people in Ottawa who are interested in meeting, we can try to set it up here in the comments.

Any place I can get to by bus is fine with me, maybe a weekend lunch time? Possibilities would be

  • Lone Star at Baseline and Fisher
  • Sushi Kan at Baseline and Merivale
  • Some place in Chinatown

Or suggestions from somebody else, I’m not very familiar with the spots to eat in the city, places where a group can sit, eat, and talk for a while.