Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- February 2021

Sun Jan 31 19:37:05 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @nextdayvideo: #lca2021 @Bbff63565228 Open Source FPGA Tooling, Our Journey from Resistance to Adoption

Sun Jan 31 19:38:35 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @nextdayvideo: #lca2021 @nullobject FPGA Design with Chisel

Sun Jan 31 19:43:39 +0000 2021 (#)

Not long now! Follow #Apollo14 in real time, 50 years later, by following @apollo_50th.

(Last year, for Apollo 13, was a bit of a nail biter, but I have a feeling 14 will go more smoothly :-) ) #Apollo50

Sun Jan 31 22:22:32 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Liftoff! #Apollo14 #Apollo50

Sun Jan 31 22:27:00 +0000 2021 (#)

So far so good for #Apollo14.

Follow @apollo_50th to watch the mission progress in “real time” (50 years delayed!)

They also have a Pateon (apollo_50th); if you enjoy the feed maybe join me in contributing a dollar or two to their costs.


Sun Jan 31 23:29:06 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @swagbadge2021: Did you miss any of our #swagbadge sessions at #lca2021? This mighty fine thread has you covered. Conductive thread, nat…

Sun Jan 31 23:36:43 +0000 2021 (#)

We’re going to the moon :-)

(Yes I know this is 50 years ago. It’s more exciting than the present day 😃) #Apollo14 #Apollo50

Tue Feb 02 00:00:48 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @ExcitedLeigh: Conference speakers: cite your sources, acknowledge your test audiences, people you workshopped and brainstormed with, wh…

Tue Feb 02 08:14:27 +0000 2021 (#)

“Those computers ought to talk to each other” 😂

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose :-)

(rough translation of the French: the more things change, the more they stay the same) #Apollo14 #Apollo50

Tue Feb 02 23:41:12 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Mitchell: "I'm very glad we have Earth as a Home Planet. I hope we can keep it so it's inviting." CAPCOM: "Roger, Ed." #Ap…

Wed Feb 03 00:17:32 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @polemic: MIQ is achieving a four-nines reliability - remarkable! Ops rule of thumb tells us that improvements would likely be exponenti…

Wed Feb 03 06:57:00 +0000 2021 (#)

“The tape was 3 minutes late at the close”!

How different things are now: with HFT (high frequency trading) if the “tape” was 3 milliseconds late there’d be complaints and losses 😃

(Not sure if HFT speculation is progress TBH. But definitely different.) #Apollo50 #Apollo14

Wed Feb 03 06:58:22 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Mitchell: "Speaking of daylight saving time, our Sun comes up very regularly every 20 minutes." CAPCOM: "Roger. We copy. T…

Wed Feb 03 07:14:42 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @bewarethefish and @hroethgar

Yes, this ⬆️. Books are heavy and the old Kirks building was not built with (that) heavy floor loading in mind (or strengthened with that in mind either).

Wed Feb 03 07:24:17 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @MEGA65Retro: The #MEGA65 talk "We made a beautiful complete open-hardware computer, including keyboard and injection-moulded case" from…

Wed Feb 03 21:42:19 +0000 2021 (#)

Vendor: we’re stopping the free self supported version at the end of the year

User: okay we’d like to buy 10 licenses for the self supported version, as listed on your website

Vendor: sorry no one in NZ/AU can sell you self supported licenses for our software


Wed Feb 03 21:43:55 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I mean it was obvious the announcement of stopping the free self supported version wasn’t thought through.

But the answer to “take our money please” should involve details on where to send the money. Just saying.

Wed Feb 03 23:58:09 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Mitchell: "But I suspect they are about the same size or maybe the Moon is starting to exceed the Earth in apparent size."…

Thu Feb 04 07:02:12 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Mitchell: "Just a quick comment in passing. The Moon is out my rendezvous window right now, and it seems to be growing not…

Thu Feb 04 07:09:56 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Apollo 14 has begun Lunar Orbit Insertion (LOI) with a Service Propulsion System (SPS) burn by Kitty Hawk. #Apollo14 #Apol…

Thu Feb 04 09:13:56 +0000 2021 (#)

TIL the reason that Tweetbot is stuck prompting for an uninstallable update on a couple of my devices is (a) they issued an update for v5, then (b) a few days later removed v5 in favour of v6, which needs a monthly subscription.

Thu Feb 04 09:20:38 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Tweetbot v6 is (a) only early access and (b) requires iOS 14+ so won’t run on the same devices as Tweetbot v5.

Which feels like a poor way to handle an upgrade. (Fortunately I did get the last v5 release on my main device so I’m not left with that forever prompting to upgrade.)

Thu Feb 04 09:26:23 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR on a device I didn’t update in time. 5.3.3 is prompted for update, but when I try to update it I’m told “The Developer has removed this app from the App Store”.

The new (v6) app is “free” (requires in app purchases for subscription) so no idea why they broke everyone... 🤷‍♂️

Thu Feb 04 09:40:46 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR looks like Tweetbot 5.3.3 was released about 2021-01-14 and then removed again about two weeks later to make Tweetbot (6) “iOS 14 required” and subscriptions only.

(AFAICT from some searching I’m not the only one taken by surprise.)

Thu Feb 04 10:12:56 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @jomarnz

Thanks for the link. I got the impression that Apple App Review had a hand in it.

iOS’s handling of “app released but no longer available” has always been terrible (prompts forever to install update you can’t). But previous times there’s been a “paper bag” release to fix it.

Thu Feb 04 10:25:30 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR developer seems to be suggesting deleting the (v5) app, then rebooting, and then reinstalling it as “purchased, not on this device” might be a way out of the “update available, cannot update” cycle. So I might try that on an older device tomorrow.

Thu Feb 04 21:35:37 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: CAPCOM: "In about 4 minutes, you'll be at your minimum altitude, which should be about 40,000 feet (12 kilometres) above t…

Thu Feb 04 21:37:13 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Apollo 14 has begun lunar revolution number 8. #Apollo14 #Apollo50

Thu Feb 04 22:36:16 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR based on a sample size of 1 device, deleting the “removed from store” earlier version non-upgradable Tweetbot 5 app, rebooting, then going to App Store / Purchased / Not on this Device and installing it again does get the last version (5.3.3) and clear “upgrade now” marker 👍

Fri Feb 05 00:36:00 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @xfxf: All 90 #lca2021 videos (we have permission to release) are up on YouTube. WebM encodes should be heading to the LA mirror shortl…

Fri Feb 05 01:30:44 +0000 2021 (#)

TIL GNU find has a -newermt flag that allows directly comparing the modification time to a time string.

It makes it way easier to find files created in a calendar year than trying to parse “ls -l”:

find . -type f -newermt 20090101 -not -newermt 20100101

Fri Feb 05 02:06:37 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

AliExpress? Or the main AliBaba? AFAICT AliExpress is basically “eBay stores” but for Chinese sellers: it’ll take credit cards for payment and a choice of shipping, etc. You can just make an account.

AliBaba I think is higher volume orders and might need an invitation.

Fri Feb 05 02:10:59 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

I’ve ordered some tiny displays and a few other things via AliExpress. Everything arrived okay, but some of it took ages to get delivered. Quality control, etc, seems to vary depending on whose AliExpress store it is. So looking/asking around for store recommendations might help.

Fri Feb 05 02:32:10 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

AFAIK lots of the AliBaba vendors, or small retailers who buy from them, are on AliExpress. So there should be options for most things on AliExpress too. Per item cost might be a wee bit higher, but there’s also a better chance of ordering 1-10 instead of “minimum 1000” :-)

Fri Feb 05 03:05:21 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

FWIW the LCA2021 Swagbadge team reported that on their display AliExpress order (hundreds of OLED displays) they’d had a few percent that just didn’t work. (Fortunately they bought extras, and I’d suggest you too buy at least one more than you need.)

Fri Feb 05 03:07:25 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

FWIW with more common things I’ve also found local eBay, etc sites have someone reselling things they already imported (at a markup). Which may save shipping time, and possibly get you a pre-tested-again item.

(My last AliExpress standard shipped item took about 5 weeks FYI.)

Fri Feb 05 07:39:10 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

“Radio Astronomy for Programmers” was one of my favourite #LCA2021 talks. Now the video is available so you can watch this great talk too if you missed it :-)


Fri Feb 05 07:43:43 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Antares in lunar orbit shortly after undocking. The Lunar Module (LM) was photographed from the Command and Service Module…

Fri Feb 05 07:51:40 +0000 2021 (#)

Work arounds for computer misbehaviour were a bit more complicated 50 years ago, thousands of kilometres from the nearest helpdesk :-)

(The software was literally shipped as woven wire, made weeks in advance. So release day DLC wasn’t yet a thing 😃)

#Apollo14 #Apollo50

Fri Feb 05 07:56:49 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

“Have you tried powering it off and on again?” 😃

For extra fun, this is advice just before the lunar vehicles disappear behind the moon and there is LOS — Loss of Signal — where they can’t even call the helpdesk 😬

#Apollo14 #Apollo50

Fri Feb 05 19:24:46 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @SarahJamieLewis: I'd be willing to bet that more deliberate vulnerabilities have been introduced into critical systems by known actors…

Fri Feb 05 19:37:03 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Apollo 14 astronauts Alan B. “Al” Shepard, Jr., and Edgar D. “Ed” Mitchell have landed at Fra Mauro in the Lunar Module (L…

Fri Feb 05 19:44:40 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Apollo 14 Commander Alan B. “Al” Shepard, Jr., has become the fifth person to walk on the Moon. #Apollo14 #Apollo50 https:…

Fri Feb 05 19:47:07 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Mitchell: "There is Earth way up there." #Apollo14 #Apollo50

Fri Feb 05 19:59:35 +0000 2021 (#)

I hadn’t realised they spent so many hours on the moon surface (EVA). I mean you’ve gone all that way, so it makes sense to make the most of your visit 😃

But you also had to carry everything for survival with you so it still feels like a long time 🤔

#Apollo14 #Apollo50

Fri Feb 05 20:03:16 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Shepard: "Okay, we're coming back down the hill, Houston." CAPCOM: "Roger, Al. We're seeing you going across the TV camera…

Fri Feb 05 20:05:14 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: CAPCOM: "And, Stu, just as a matter of interest, Ed now has been out 4 hours and 28 minutes. They're back at the LM now cl…

Sat Feb 06 04:10:21 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @pjf

Uh, that’s not a whole lot of margin for error temperature wise anyway... 😬

/me continues to steer clear of diborane

(Now randomly wondering if there are chemical sugar sensors for airborne particles with mechanical read outs 🤔)

Sat Feb 06 04:19:56 +0000 2021 (#)

TFW you realise the reason there’ve been no #Apollo14 updates for two full orbits is because the astronauts are sleeping. On the moon. Who does that?! 😮

(They elected for an early wake up call because they didn’t think they’d sleep in any way!) #Apollo50

Sat Feb 06 09:26:43 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: The start of the second Apollo 14 Extravehicular Activity (EVA) has been marked by the cabin depressurization to 3 psia. #…

Sun Feb 07 00:48:52 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon and @unixbigot

Typically I assume the documentation I can find before buying is all there is. I’ve usually not received much in the way of instructions “in the box”.

Especially for LED displays there are hobbyist/open source libraries for many of them. So it’s worth looking for those first.

Sun Feb 07 00:59:25 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h

Sadly many people are terrible at writing concise messages which have the important information up front. UI limits just make it worse.

(As the child of two journalists I had “news up front” drilled into me so I try to ensure the important information is “above the fold” :-) )

Sun Feb 07 01:04:00 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h

TBH those messages should start with either:

“Good News $NAME”


“Important News $NAME, please read carefully ASAP”.

Or concise words with those two meanings.

(I do appreciate the detailed context. But it’s secondary to the message they buried in the middle.)

Sun Feb 07 03:56:36 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: The Apollo 14 Command and Service Module (CSM) Kitty Hawk in lunar orbit, as seen from the returning Lunar Module (LM) Ant…

Sun Feb 07 04:05:29 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: The Transearth Injection (TEI) burn for Apollo 14 has been completed with a firing time of 149.2 seconds and a Delta-V of…

Mon Feb 08 07:55:29 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: Shepard: "We are reminded, however, as we look at that shimmering crescent tonight, which is the Earth, on our way back, t…

Tue Feb 09 00:26:01 +0000 2021 (#)

“Sailors in Spaaaaaccccceee!” :-)

Knowing how to tie knots that will stay tied is a surprisingly transferable skill 😃

(This is part of the “stow everything to prepare for re-entry to earth” process.) #Apollo14 #Apollo50

Tue Feb 09 20:43:54 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: The Apollo 14 Command Module (CM) and Service Module (SM) have separated. The spacecraft are at an altitude above Earth of…

Wed Feb 10 00:21:04 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: The Apollo 14 Command Module (CM) Kitty Hawk above the Pacific Ocean with three main parachutes on February 9, 1971. #Apol…

Wed Feb 10 00:21:17 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: The Apollo 14 Command Module (CM) Kitty Hawk has returned to Earth from Fra Mauro after a total mission length of 9 days,…

Wed Feb 10 00:24:47 +0000 2021 (#)

Quarantine after travel seems to be a recurring theme :-)

#Apollo14 #Apollo50

Thu Feb 11 06:44:10 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @timonsku: I hacked this RGBW photo ring light with a @Raspberry_Pi Pico to run @CircuitPython. You can use it to make your face look ve…

Thu Feb 11 06:46:17 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: "After the Apollo 14 crew was picked up ... the three astronauts began what some health officials expect will be the last…

Fri Feb 12 06:37:20 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @evacide: The contacts list in my phone is not a list of my friends. There are people on that list that I never want to hear from and th…

Fri Feb 12 07:01:14 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @merxplat


I have no potatoes, and that is enough... so I’m easily satisfied :-)

/me admires my 🌝ness

Fri Feb 12 08:14:03 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @chrishipkins: NZ’s first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will arrive early next week. We’re geared up to start vaccinating our…

Fri Feb 12 08:23:06 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @tveastman: This is a perfectly reasonable number for a hurried, successful, stable project.

And not only that, it's entirely open-sour…

Fri Feb 12 08:27:23 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

$6.4M is roughly $2 per (potential) user. To me that’s surprisingly cheap, and definitely money well spent, given it was delivered promptly and worked from the beginning (although with substantial UI/UX improvements later).

(I’m also with you on good/fast over cheap here.)

Fri Feb 12 23:16:29 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @nburdy: MORPH is one of the most incredible tech / art projects I’ve ever seen.

The team behind it (@nannoucc, @themindtree, @Joshua_…

Sat Feb 13 07:07:36 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @merxplat

Seems legit :-)

Sun Feb 14 07:26:54 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @NLinSF: The Netherlands looks like an old master’s painting today 🖼⛸

Sun Feb 14 07:30:37 +0000 2021 (#)

Sometimes I don’t like my predictions coming true.

Hopefully like Victoria, Australia this is a “stitch in time” 😬


Sun Feb 14 09:46:30 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @yaakov_h

It reads to me like someone meant to say “by the end of the week, if not earlier”, and refactored (incompletely) mid sentence to sound more positive...

Sun Feb 14 09:51:31 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: "The [Apollo 14] astronauts [yesterday], locked inside a silver quarantine trailer, waved through windows and spoke over a…

Mon Feb 15 08:04:59 +0000 2021 (#)

“Serialisation formats aren’t toys” — @.tveastman

Okay, maybe they can be... just ideally not near production :-)

It’s a fun video, and the whole thread of Turing Complete games is worth reading (some are obvious, others... emergent behaviour).

Mon Feb 15 21:17:03 +0000 2021 (#)

The fun follow up to waking up at 03:35 to UPSes beeping is finding out (later) in the morning what other devices cannot be started again properly.

So far looks like one older external hard drive, or the enclosure/power supply (fortunately in a RAID set).

Mon Feb 15 21:27:02 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

About a 75-90 minute power outage, for an “unknown cause”, affecting about 1/3rd of my suburb. Which feels like a distribution breaker tripping or similar. So I imagine the power didn’t go off that cleanly...

Tue Feb 16 00:29:09 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @ravenslofty: New blog post, about that time a glass manufacturer designed an FPGA.

Tue Feb 16 02:44:58 +0000 2021 (#)

Oh what fun, today is also a 1900-01-00 == 1899-12-30 data interchange validation day.

Which is the result of a series of bug for bug compatibility hacks dating back nearly 40 years now (to Lotus 123). And the use of 0 sentinel values. :-/

Tue Feb 16 02:48:16 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

The new data source is arriving with M/D/YYYY formatted dates (from a NZ source) because apparently they hate both ISO8601 and the NZ DD/MM/YYYY convention.

So that’s “1/0/1900” in the input CSV 🤦🏻‍♂️

(I’ve tried asking for ISO8601. Two weeks ago. 😔)

Tue Feb 16 05:01:26 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @LaurieFleming

Yes my world pretty much divides into ISO8601 and “oh no, what are you doing” too 😃

(While further checking this new data file I discovered the latitude/longitude had been rounded to integer degrees. Which is... not terribly accurate 😬 ~100km in NZ.)

Tue Feb 16 05:08:41 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @LaurieFleming

I’m sure the integer latitude/longitude is an export mistake. But clearly whoever exported it didn’t check the output very closely 😔

(That was the point I told my client we’d have to ask the sender to reconfigure their export process. Maybe I’ll even get ISO8601 dates hopes)

Tue Feb 16 05:10:40 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @LaurieFleming

Generally I assume 6 decimals on lat/long is false precision (unless known to come from a differential GPS setup).

But I’d like at least 4 decimals of real precision if possible.

Tue Feb 16 05:26:17 +0000 2021 (#)

Oh no @vodafoneNZ has returned to the continually scrolling network name :-(

I’m not looking forward to days/weeks/months of constantly scrolling distraction 😢

Please pick a shorter version @vodafoneNZ begs

(iPhone 8, as before.) #Covid19NZ

Tue Feb 16 05:40:28 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @vodafoneNZ

Thanks for the reply; it only just appeared on my phone today.

As I said 6 months ago, the long network name constantly scrolling is a distracting gimmick, which makes me wish I wasn’t using Vodafone each time I use my phone.

It does not bring a smile to my face :-/

Tue Feb 16 05:53:54 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @vodafoneNZ

Please suggest to your tech team/management that they use

VF Stay Safe

instead. It’s shorter, should fit properly, and has the same message.

The lack of constant scrolling would bring a smile to my face :-)

Tue Feb 16 21:17:59 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @attacus_au: somehow the theremin just got cooler

Thu Feb 18 00:08:30 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

So far it looks very likely that the old external drive power supply didn’t survive the power outage event. LED on it flickers constantly, drive wouldn’t spin up (constant retries), and drive seems to work in new enclosure (phew!).

RAID mirrors rebuilding now.

Thu Feb 18 00:10:16 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

From the drive behaviour my guess is the old power supply lost/almost lost its 12V rail. So as soon as the drive started to spin it lost power again. (From the LED on the power supply I guess the 5V isn’t amazing either, but it flickered a bit before anyway.)

Thu Feb 18 01:56:21 +0000 2021 (#)

Have you ever wished

cat /proc/mdstat

was sorted by raid set? Yeah, me too. Using only the power of in appropriate linux cli tools, now it can be :-)

Sorry, not sorry.

Thu Feb 18 01:58:00 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

FTR that’s:

grep -A 5 '^md' /proc/mdstat | grep -v unused | sed 's/^[[:space:]]$//; s/[a-zA-Z].$/&|/; s/^$/+/;' | tr -d '\012' | tr '+' '\012' | sort -t d -k 2 -n | tr '|' '\012'

And TBH an actual programming language would have been better, in hindsight 🤷‍♂️

Thu Feb 18 03:37:11 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @pjf: A news source is any website, or part of a website.

I am absolutely going to need more popcorn to watch the Australian Government…

Thu Feb 18 05:04:10 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

I understand all of this story (SNAFU), and sympathise, except one part: would they not let you front the $250 copay out of pocket and walk out with the medicine?

(Yes I’m aware you “shouldn’t have to”, but as someone working in tech $250 << “a day of my time wasted”.)

Thu Feb 18 05:16:40 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @TProphet

Yes I’d have written off the money immediately if I’d paid to walk out with the medicine. But in “times of war” one optimises for the thing that matters the most :-)

(My father’s approach was to call the CEO, which I’ve definitely watched work. Not always the fastest though.)

Thu Feb 18 09:43:22 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Or perl. Or really anything that was capable of storing multiple lines in a data structure for later output in a different order :-)

Like most ad hoc solutions it rapidly grew out of control, from “I’ll just call sort”. And I had time on my hands, checking on raid rebuilds!

Thu Feb 18 10:02:42 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Yes the perl version is definitely a lot quicker to write. (At least in “write only” code form, relying on many perl defaults :-) )

perl -ne ‘if (/^md(\d+)/){$n=int($1)} if(/\S/&&$n){$r{$n}.=$}else{$n=0} END {print join(“\n”, map {$r{$}} sort keys %r);}’

Thu Feb 18 10:07:44 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @isomer

For my sins I’ve written production perl code off and on for about 20 of the last 30 years (but not much recently; I mostly only use it for command line one liners now).

And yes, awk can be clearer for anything awk does conveniently. I do use awk frequently too.

Thu Feb 18 10:09:23 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @isomer

Also FTR it’s possible to write much more readable perl, with white space and indenting and comments and such. That’s highly recommended even.

It just doesn’t fit as easily into a tweet 😃

Fri Feb 19 09:09:02 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @kyhwana and @pjf

There’s a really subtle difference between the first and second (with filter) picture. If I had to describe it, I’d say they turned the vibrance down about 10% in the second (with filter) picture. Across the board.

That’s… not how you make shades more distinct 🤦🏻‍♂️

Sun Feb 21 07:01:31 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

There’s now a part 2 to the “Back to the BBS” series, about modern BBS door games and mods, released this weekend.

Sun Feb 21 22:17:16 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @apollo_50th: "On the future exploration of the Moon, Dr. von Braun said: "I am absolutely convinced that by the year 2000 we shall have…

Tue Feb 23 00:57:22 +0000 2021 (#)

Thank you @vodafoneNZ for the shorter network name — “VF Stay Safe” fits nicely (it just changed over for me this afternoon).

I really really appreciate not having constant scrolling in the top left of my screen caused by a too long network name 💚

Tue Feb 23 01:04:52 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

“30 years. And 2 weeks.” :-)

(It feels like parallel to one of those “hitting with hammer: $1” / “knowing where to hit: $10,000” invoice breakdowns… 🤔)

Tue Feb 23 01:06:55 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

More seriously, an answer of the form “the final assembly took N days, after I had everything ready to start assembling” might be both truthful, informative, and concise enough to give as an answer to that question.

Tue Feb 23 07:53:48 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

My default choice for maximum control over ingredients at lunch is a salad bar that has DIY choice salad ingredients, one per container.

Ka Pai used to be a good choice for this, although I’ve not been in a couple of years. (Was Mulgrave St, Lambton Quay, BNZ Centre.)

Tue Feb 23 08:06:51 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @RileyFaelan and @sagesharp

I came here to say this too: the typographical convention (^C) goes back to at least CP/M in the early 1980s. The CP/M WordStar manual explains it very clearly, at the beginning.

Any tech documentiom should have a typographical conventions section IMHO.

Tue Feb 23 08:27:36 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @RileyFaelan

I just found that link too, searching in parallel :-)

So it looks like the ^C convention probably originated with ASCII 1967 replacing the up arrow code point of ASCII 1963 with a caret, and ASCII being more widely adopted.

So since ~ late 1960s.

Tue Feb 23 23:01:33 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @sagesharp

Very few people know about CP/M, let alone the 1960s/1970s IT history before it :-)

I entirely agree they shouldn’t have to know. Good documentation is self contained (including typographical conventions), or at least has references to necessary background information.

Wed Feb 24 22:36:32 +0000 2021 (#)

RT @merxplat: Pleased about this too

Thu Feb 25 20:16:09 +0000 2021 (#)

The only thing better than a delayed Friday morning major security announcement is a delayed Friday afternoon major security announcement. Oh, wait, not better 😬

(Delayed from 2021-02-04 to 2021-02-25, in USA timezone. Friday 2021-02-26 in NZ 😔)

Thu Feb 25 20:20:44 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Second Monday (ie Monday in the USA, Tuesday on the future side of the dateline) is when you release important news that people need to action quickly.

I’ll accept “patch Tuesday” (ie Wednesday here) as a workable alternative. But Thursday (ie Friday here) is user unfriendly.

Fri Feb 26 01:20:59 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

“The Salt Project has released a security update to address 10 vulnerabilities with severity rating Medium to High. We strongly recommend prioritizing this update.” — which we learn Friday afternoon, after 5 weeks foreshadowing 😔

Fri Feb 26 01:35:19 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Only SaltStack versions since 3000 (released 2020-02-11, for modern Python 3) are still officially supported. Several older versions get DIY patches, and a strong hint these might be the last patches for those versions.

Fri Feb 26 01:39:06 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Officially it looks like there’s 18 months support from release date (phases 1, 2, 3 support combined). But 2019.2 was released a year before 3000... so in practice that left 6 months overlap, on a major new version (and needing a switch to modern Python 3 — 3.6+ IIRC).

Fri Feb 26 03:40:17 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

I’ve tentatively verified that a salt 3002.5 master on Python 3 can still talk to an older salt minion (eg 2019.2) on Python 2. And it looks like at least Salt 3001 will still run on Python 3.5 (eg Debian Stretch).

Fri Feb 26 03:44:20 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

So it looks like the best path forward is to get salt master to 3002.5 (or at least 300x.y just released) on Python 3.

And then upgrade as many salt minions as possible to 3000.8, 3001.6 or 3002.5 releases from today. And maybe turn off or hand patch the rest.

Fri Feb 26 03:47:25 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

In theory salt 3000.8 (released today) still runs on Python 2 if necessary (I haven’t tried it).But salt 300x.y on Python 3.5+ is going to offer more options for a path forward in future if it’s available.

(Not sure if salt 3002.x still runs on Python 3.5, but 3001.x claims to.)

Sat Feb 27 04:35:47 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ExcitedLeigh

A friend of mine has a theory (which I tend to agree with) that “I’m pregnant” should be either “(excited voice) we’re going to have a baby!” or “that swear word got me pregnant”. So one knows whether to react with joy or concern :-)

(But yes, age is also a factor here.)

Sat Feb 27 08:58:34 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Level 2/3 #Covid19NZ for the second time this month, and for longer this time (7+ days). Announced at 21:50ish local time.

The most surprising thing is that it starts at 06:00 local time tomorrow, instead of the usual 23:59. Due to short notice at a guess.

Sat Feb 27 09:04:44 +0000 2021 (#)

Replying to @GyledC

Like you I’ve always had ample supplies at home, due to the way I was brought up. And in the past year that’s doubled at least: I literally have a “second pantry” corner :-)

So I’m not rushing to the shops! (Shops here have also been fine after the first few weeks last year.)

Sun Feb 28 01:46:52 +0000 2021 (#)

TIL that it’s possible to cycle count on the Amstrad CPC tight enough to bit bang blocky graphics by controlling the “border” colour (and telling the CRTC not to fetch any RAM).

(There’s a video in early release about the board which inspired this work.)

Sun Feb 28 03:15:49 +0000 2021 (#)

It’s #Covid19NZ Level 2 time again (5th level 2 for my city from memory, but some were short).

So I’ve gone for a walk again :-)