!!!

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Via Google + Oh Yeah, I’m on Google + now. Plus one me. Oh Yeah. As “Steve Samson.” Apparently “Mr Wh00ps”, my original Google ID, didn’t convince Google’s algorithm that it was a real name. I blame my parents.

Inflation

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Usually, we talk about inflation in airy-fairy terms. A disincentive to save, or a sop to borrowers, or a way of inflating away debt (usually governmental). The picture above is two identical packs of 40 Iceland sausages, one I bought a few weeks ago, the other that I just discovered in the bottom of the freezer. This is really what inflation means. You get less for your money. This information is usually quite hard to discern, the general upward trend in prices hidden somewhat by retailers playing with the margin, upping prices for BOGOF deals, computing with each other and all the things they do to make their shop the most attractive. Discount retailers like Iceland operate a slightly different model, keeping to round pound price points as much as they can for the own-brand products that make up most of their offer. This affords us a look at the cost of sausages (assuming that the costs involved in changing the size of sausages (and presumably other frozen manufactured foods) is a disincentive to changing them often as other retailers do with prices, which is a simple day-to-day task. I make this assumption fairly confidently as I actually noticed the sausages were smaller as soon as I took one out of the bag, I just didn’t have an old pack to hand until tonight.).

Compared to a few months ago, GBP2 gets you 400g less sausage. Actually quite a high proportion of the pack size. And that’s what inflation is. Every time the government prints a few more pounds to pay for some dumb scheme, increase costs for businesses or raise fuel duty, they don’t just attack hauliers, or fat cats, or “the rich” they take food out of YOUR mouth.

A Return?

You know, Even though I don’t really post on here anymore, I still quite often see something,  or hear something, or even think about something that gives me the urge to write, even if nobody reads it. The trouble is, the laptop takes forever to boot (well, not forever by c64 standards,  but still) and a mobile phone is just, well,  awkward. You wouldn’t believe how many drafts I have in my draft folder that I never finished, because typing on a phone is awkward and I lose the flow.
And it’s no good turning the laptop on, because by the time it’s booted a
and I’ve fired up Blogilo I lose my thread and just abandon the post anyway.

So I may have a solution:
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Small, neat, portable. Quite easy to type on (once you get used to it) and fairly cheap. From Amazon.  To follow, an MHL cable and a Bluetooth mouse so I can run the phone through the telly but that’s more for YouTube and Netflix. From blogging I have now an inexpensive (and more importantly always on) laptop or netbook that I can just whip out and type PROPERLY whenever the feeling takes me. Will it help me post more often? Only time will tell…

Odd One Out

Reason: Why We’re Losing http://goo.gl/mag/tm6ki

They’re right, alas.
I’ve often characterised people as ‘anti -bees ,’ in that bees are individually quite useless but as a collective are amazing, but people are wonderful as individuals but as collectives (or mobs ) are stupid.
The trouble is, as humans are a pack animal they have a propensity to collectivise, and, as a pack animal they also have a large beta contingent which is always compelled to defer to “the boss. ” In a democracy, you can see how this works. It is a perpetual duking -it -out between two or three bosses but the idea of 60,000,000 bosses never arises. And I fear it never will.
You may have noticed I started referring to humans in the third person there, that was deliberate. I don’t really play well with authority, I’m not a joiner or a beta male but I’m not an alpha male either. I usually end up in de facto leadership roles, deferred to by others, but I’m not comfortable with it. I just want to be left alone.

I’m a “don’t tread on me ” anarchist. Not a ‘big anarchist movement ‘ one. So I don’t really fit the primate social model. I don’t actually count myself as “human” anymore. Humans like order, they like hierarchies, they like to know who’s in charge and that they deserve to be in charge because they are “doing something.” They like this because they are a pack animal, like the wolf.
Are YOU human? 

Still Here

I’m currently working my way through many of the worthy publications available in various formats at the Mises Institute website. Normal (that is to say, intermittent) service will be resumed shortly.

Galaxy Nexus

I finally took delivery of my smoking hot Galaxy Nexus the other day.
It’s lovely. Once again, I can’t fault Vodafone. Well, the store division, anyway. The online order was placed before Christmas and I received nothing but emails and texts, but once I went into the store and explained how long I’d been waiting they cancelled the online contract and set up a new one in store and I walked away with my new phone the same day. There’s a lesson in there somewhere.
I was a little disconcerted to find that Google have disabled USB mass storage in favour of MTP (there are reasons for this, good ones) and as Linux has a little problem with MTP (well, it’s not easy to set up in Fedora (which is on this laptop and used most often) although apparently easier to do in Ubuntu with everything you need in the repos so I ended up transferring my files from the old phone to the Nexus using this method:

High Technology?

Fantastic. ADB you save my arse yet again, although the irony of having to use the command line to sync files to one of the most technologically advanced telephones in the world is not lost on me. Still, I guess most people would be using a Windoze 7 pc which understands MTP straight out of the box, and not need the Cli.

On the other hand rooting was as easy as pie, a simple “fastboot oem unlock” and flash an insecure boot image and install the superuser binary, took about five minutes. Swings and roundabouts I guess.

A new year

And a new start, at least for,some.
Much has happened this year, much of importance.
We’ve seen the elected governments of two of our neighbours replaced by EU satrapies.
We’ve seen people rise up and remove dictators all over the middle east, with varying results.
We’ve seen the state at home show itself to be a paper tiger, even when faced with only a few thousand disorganized rioters with no aim other than big-screen televisions, shits, and giggles.
In short, we’ve seen that those who deign to rule are only at home when the ruled play the game. When faced with widespread disorder they are powerless. Like all bullies, when challenged they have nowhere to go.
Will 2012 be the year of the European Spring? Only time will tell.
Happy new year.

A new year

And a new start, at least for,some.
Much has happened this year, much of importance.
We’ve seen the elected governments of two of our neighbours replaced by EU satrapies.
We’ve seen people rise up and remove dictators all over the middle east, with varying results.
We’ve seen the state at home show itself to be a paper tiger, even when faced with only a few thousand disorganized rioters with no aim other than big-screen televisions, shits, and giggles.
In short, we’ve seen that those who deign to rule are only at home when the ruled play the game. When faced with widespread disorder they are powerless. Like all bullies, when challenged they have nowhere to go.
Will 2012 be the year of the European Spring? Only time will tell.
Happy new year.

Ubuntu Linux Lucid on an aging eMac5 ppc

This is far, far away from what I ususally post about, but I found very little on the web to help me, so here goes- hopefully, somebody else will need to do what I did and will find this useful. My Mum, lovely person that she is, does quite a bit of work for her church, all voluntary, proper Christian she is, by which I mean she actually paid attention to what Christ said and tries to live by it. As a result, she doesn’t have a lot of money (neither do I) and we came to a position where her PC broke down FUBAR-ly, and she didn’t have the money to fix it. Luckily, someone else in the congregation had a “computer” she could have… As it turned out, an ex-school-owned eMac5 (how he came to ‘own’ it she didn’t ask). Great. It gets on the internet… ah. She needs it to write down and print stuff for the church.

“Wh00ps!! Come help me! I can’t make it talk to the printer!”

So, it fell to me to make Mrs Wh00ps (Snr)’s computer talk to her printer.

Day 1. It turns out, the antiquated version of OSX this eMac uses cannot, by any means possible, talk to this fancy-schmancy, high-falutin’ HP all-in-one PHOTOSMART printer. No way, no-how. We decide, rather than pirate an edition of OSX (required OSX 4 or higher) we’d switch it to linux. I choose Ubuntu -partly because I use it at home and know it, partly because the UI is easy for n00bs- and

day 1.5 download Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) ppc (live cd and alternate).

day 2We install, after much caveats, and it doesn’t work. In fact, we have the ‘blank screen scenario’ as evidenced here. I bugger about all evening, but eventually give up.

Day2.5 I completely unneccesarily download ubuntu 6.06 and 8.04, the revisions referred to in the link above, ready to return to mum’s.

Day3 After much buggering about, Using Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper, and trying the xorg.conf files provided in here and here (latter link worked) I got Ubuntu to boot as far as the login screen…. However, after login a blank screen again, this time with a moving mouse pointer. Choosing ‘fall-back terminal’ allowed me to edit, and even run synaptic and update-manager but I still couldn’t boot a full desktop environment, upgrade, or install anything since the repos are gone.

Eventually, from desperation I re-installed 10.04, then booted again from the disk and chose “rescue-powerpc” from the boot prompt. It didn’t work, again, but this time when I got to the shell I had figured to

mkdir /mnt/hda3 mount /dev/hda3 /mnt/hda3

allowing me into the OS, and then I copied a modified version of this xorg.conf file, mixed with the xorg.conf the installation of Dapper produced.

# File copied-and-pasted by Wh00ps

#original from http://homepage.univie.ac.at/georg.koe/XF86Config/XF86Config-4.emac700nvidia.working

# **********************************************************************
# Refer to the XF86Config or xorg.conf man page for details about the format of
# this file.
# **********************************************************************

Section "Files"
RgbPath "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"

# Multiple FontPath entries are allowed (they are concatenated together)
# By default, YDL 2.0 and later now use a font server independent of
# the X server to render fonts.

FontPath "unix/:7100" # local font server
# if the local font server has problems, we can fall back on these
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi/:unscaled"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/cyrillic"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
FontPath "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/default/TrueType"
FontPath "/usr/share/fonts/default/Type1"
EndSection

Section "ServerFlags"
#DontZap # disable <Crtl><Alt><BS> (server abort)
AllowMouseOpenFail # allows the server to start up even if the mouse doesn't work
#DontZoom # disable <Crtl><Alt><KP_+>/<KP_-> (resolution switching)
EndSection

Section "Module"
Load "dbe" # Double-Buffering Extension
Load "v4l" # Video for Linux
Load "extmod"
Load "type1"
Load "freetype"
Load "glx" # 3D layer
EndSection

#***********************************************
#This was the section I had to edit, using the xorg.conf file the installation of Dapper produced.

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier    "Generic Keyboard"
Driver        "keyboard"
Option        "CoreKeyboard"
Option        "XkbRules"    "xorg"
Option        "XkbModel"    "pc105"
Option        "XkbLayout"    "gb"
Option        "XkbOptions"    "lv3:lwin_switch"
EndSection
#The original assumes a 'proper' Macintosh Keyboard
#*********************************************************

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier    "Configured Mouse"
Driver        "mouse"
Option        "CorePointer"
Option        "Device"        "/dev/input/mice"
Option        "Protocol"        "ImPS/2"
Option        "Emulate3Buttons"    "true"
Option        "ZAxisMapping"        "4 5"
EndSection

#this is the important part as far as the display is concerned-
#eMacs and iMacs (ugh) have funny resolutions and refresh rates... once you boot into X this is what causes
#the blank screen. All this part is original.
Section "Monitor"
Identifier "monitor1"
VendorName "Apple"
ModelName "HiRes Display 1152x864"
HorizSync 30.0-112.0
VertRefresh 50.0-160.0
# emac
ModeLine "800x600" 112 800 816 824 840 600 616 624 640 -hsync -vsync
ModeLine "1152x864" 100 1152 1173 1269 1440 768 769 772 800 +vsync +vsync
ModeLine "1024x768" 100 1024 1108 1280 1408 768 768 780 796 +hsync +vsync
ModeLine "1280x960" 100 1280 1288 1392 1664 1024 1027 1030 1064
EndSection

Section "Device"
Identifier "device1"
VendorName "nVidia Corporation"
BoardName "NVIDIA GeForce2 DDR (generic)"
Driver "nv"
BusID "PCI:0:16:0"
# Option "useFBDev"
Option "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "screen1"
Device "device1"
Monitor "monitor1"
DefaultColorDepth 16
Subsection "Display"
Depth 8
Modes "default"
EndSubsection

Subsection "Display"
Depth 15
Modes "1024x768"
EndSubsection

Subsection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "1024x768"
EndSubsection

Subsection "Display"
Depth 24
Modes "default"
EndSubsection
EndSection

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "layout1"
InputDevice "Generic Keyboard" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Configured Mouse" "CorePointer"
Screen "screen1"
EndSection

And then I copied it from the cdrom to /etc/X11 using

cp /cdrom/xorg.conf /mnt/hda3/etc/X11/xorg.conf

Oh, forgot to say, I had to burn that motherfucker of a 11kb file onto a cd to get it into the Mac, although if you want to mess around some more you can bother with mounting a flash drive. And bingo! one reboot and we’re in. Download linux drivers for the printer (and a bit of terminal work to get them going) and finally, We Have Printing!

The Tenacity of Life

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This little bird can’t fly. He’s been living in the access road and goods in area at work since the spring, when we first noticed him as a fledgling, hopping around without any tail feathers.
I’d assumed that he’d died, but he reappeared today. He’s obviously been managing to find food the whole time, dodging lorries and forklifts (he’s completely unafraid of the latter) and generally hanging in there despite his major disability.

There’s a feelgood story for your Sunday!