Friday, October 14, 2005

Email: from it is left out (4)

My cunning email-based notification tools on our servers were working fine. I updated the Sender for their automatic emails and thought nothing more of it.

After a fews of silence from the servers, I realised somthing was amiss. After much diagnosis (and concommitant discovery of other unrelated errors) I tracked down the non-delivery of the emails to the fact that the Sender was using "" as the domain.

Turns out there is an RFC somewhere which suggests that MTAs ignore mail from "", so the mails were just disappearing into the ether!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Brit guy: Would you just hurry up and pick out a popcorn? It's not that hard, they are all the same, and stop giving into the American culture of having so many to choose from, it's just fucking popcorn.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The meaning of hard work

The Greeks and Romans praised otium, or leisure, the very opposite of negotium, or business.

Interesting etymology from The Grauniad via The Idler. Similarly revealing is "business" itself i.e. busy-ness, as contrasted to the more idle life prior to Industrialisation.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Fucking hostile

If I hear someone I know using the word "chav" again I shall have serious words. It is massively offensive on so many levels, not least in the middle-class smugness which so often envelopes utterance of the word.

I have several friends who would I think pass for 'chavs', based on their clothes, social background, blah, blah; friends I really respect. The contrast between the stereotype of 'chav' and the reality could not have been starker last weekend when I went to see Kahlo with Bottomless Pitt - there was a guy there who would fit the description perfectly, yet her was making the most amazing sketches of Frieda's work, moving from picture to picture.

I am through with smug bastard middle class sneering.

MySQL truncat [es data]

I really want to like MySQL. I really do. It's an integral part of the LAMP stack, and it now has Stored Procedures! and ACID!

But wait...

Although you can copy a DB from one machine to another with ease (just copy the files), there is a sneaky problem, at least when moving from MySQL 3.x to 4.x: all VARCHAR columns are truncated by a factor of three. Yes VARCHAR(100) becomes VARCHAR(33). VARCHAR(255) becomes VARCHAR(85). What the fuck?

Simple SELECT or SET statements in 4.x simply do not work in 3.x:

    -- SET @MaxUserId := 
(SELECT MAX(user_id)
 FROM phpbb_users); 

-- Instead we need this: 
    SELECT (@MaxUserId := 
FROM phpbb_users;

Add to this basic things like almost complete lack of feedback or pinpointing of errors. All you get for a SQL expression error is:

ERROR 1064 (42000): You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near 'VARCHAR(255) = ''' at line 1

Thanks a bunch, MySQL! Reminds me of debugging the VME boxes under Linux: the odd println statement which may or may not contain a useful line number.

My enthusiasm for LAMP has definately been truncated...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hit them while they're down

...or The Logic of Capitalism

NEW ORLEANS - Mayor Ray Nagin said Tuesday the city is laying off as many as 3,000 employees — or about half its workforce — because of the financial damage inflicted on New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina.

This is just perverse, in a bad way. Any civilised society would help the victims of a (part-)natural disaster. Neo-Con USA uses it as an excuse to drive through cuts. The architects - no, that's too careful - the cowboy builders of unfettered free-market economics are being revealed as sicker and more diseased by the week. The scenes in all those 'futuristic' graphic novels like Transmet? They are on your doorstep, and have been for years.

Monday, October 03, 2005

The Art of Conversation

So, are you Italian? You look Italian, with that hat on. I should have my hat with me, but - as I said to these guitarists last night - I just can't wear my hat like it is, I just can't... they told me to pull myself together and go to the police, coz, like the guy above me is a herion addict, and he killed the woman in the flat below, I mean I didn't go to the autopsy or nuffink, but he musta done it, he's got gold teeth and he's filthy rich. Anyhow, there were two police cars outside, and I though "I could ask for a lift to the station" but then I just went home didn't I? Screwed it up as usual. They said "you need to make a complaint, coz it's messing with your head, innit?", but I screwed up again, just like with the canvas today. You know I'm an artist? I am a fucking good artist. This mate of mine - I used to live in Chelsea, you know, before my breakdown, and before I got ME - this mate gave me this canvas for free, and I used his acrylics and frame, and I painted this picture of a river and a horse and a ballerina, and stuff, and took it to George Four, and they offered my £700 for it then and there, but I said "nah". I think I can get more for it than that. I mean how can I go on when I lent 400 quid to the heroin addict to get me a new key, and he just took it? I have to buzz his flat to get into the apartment block now, so I look like some dealer. All the needles and swabs with blood on them on the stairs. I need to get out. I need to sell some paintings. I am a fucking good artist, you know. This star here, I made it when I was inside last year. I can't sell my paintings. I won't sell them, no... Yeah, I used to tour with Alabama 3 - Larry Love is mah mate. i bought him a drink in the Albert once, coz he was interested in my illness, what with being in the hospital and having ME and everything, and he's Welsh too, watching the rugby...
The Prince, Brixton

Mike a 'likely source' of Sars