Sometime after

Mar  2 12:32:46 bilbo—MARK

There was a power outage in the Helsinki area. I have been told it was small, but it was enough to set my machine to reboot. Btw I was on a boat in the Baltic sea at that time. :)


I have set my BIOS to restart the machine in these situations. I think typical defaults on modern machines, don’t let the machine restart with a power cycle. My host unfortunately don’t do any UPS services. I guess I can never count on my uptime reaching rediculous levels at this stage.

I have tested that it reboots at the host before. Of course I did. So what went wrong?

I modified my /etc/network/interfaces after a collegue quite rightly pointed out that my machine does not return pings. It really should. So he gave me this line to throw in the file:

pre-up iptables -I block -i eth0 -p icmp—icmp-type echo-request—limit 5/s -j ACCEPT

Unfortunately with this line in the interfaces, the interface just does not come up. Without it, it’s fine. There must be some bug here, which I will find and KILL with great vengeance.


Xiven might be impressed, but since Firefox has come into unstable I wish you could hear my screams !

Firstly my bookmarks, my settings… where are they? Why doesn’t firefox import them from Firebird, or if it’s really clever mozilla?

Why the HELL have they swapped around OK and CANCEL type dialogue buttons? Totally turning my world upside down! :/

And then the naming fiasco. Now there is a problem with calling firefox in Debian as firefox is only for “official” builds. I mean, WTF!



I was attending my normal weekly foriegn student night at “Bar Fly” tonight, except this time they asked for ID.

I simply do not carry ID for numerous reasons.

The doorman claimed that I needed it in order to comply with Finnish law.

Hmmm right…

And today while I was going to gym, I usually try my best to walk past reception. Oh no, today they wanted me to identify myself, with further information of what time I was playing squash, where, and who with.

Is there a country I go about my daily activities like a free man?


My Russian collegue over Friday Spaghetti Bolognese lunch was telling my about driving finesbribes in Russia. About 2USD if you break the limit by 20km/h or so. 10USD if you double the limit, for example going over 80km/h in a 40km/h zone.

However he is extremely worried now, as he like I, has converted his driving license to a Finnish license. Now the traffic police will look at the card and think he has money…


Another interesting fact which I am having trouble verfying, is that most traffic accidents in Finland happen with Russians involved.


LUGRadio found from Simon's blog is great.

I had in mind to do run a radio station from here. However I have not figured out ALSA with my sound card on my T30. It’s a CRAP intel8×0 AC’97 job. What’s worse is that it seems unable to mix two inputs. So that’s that then.

I love my thinkpad, but if IBM are going to put in substandard sound cards, I might consider a powerbook instead.

Freenode spam

Just been spammed by some Russian porn site at least twice today on Freenode IRC.



57 varieties?

Today I noticed a new Organic/Luomu/Ekological variety of the famous worldwide tomato sauce brand.

However, still 57 varieties printed on the bottle neck.

And one has to ask why don’t they just make their core tomato sauce product organic, instead of milking concerned shoppers. I do not respect Heinz nearly as much as I used to.

I’ll try some other tomato sauce product.


Dead Tree

While walking home drunk from satumaa karaoke bar the night before last, I noticed the tree there by Kamppi has been cut down. It looks like it has been dead for awhile, but it’s very sad all the same. That tree must have been one of Helsinki’s very oldest.

There are not many old trees in Finland. The only other place I know which has a few is the University Botanical gardens.

Unlocked 6100

After reading Unlocking Your Nokia Phone. I finally eventually AT LAST found phones unlocking code generator. A web based tool for generating the code you need, as opposed to those MORONWARE Win32 applications.

Unfortunately they want to register. Assholes.

Try bugmenot, or user: bing pass: anonymous.

Oh yeah, it work first time for me. I unlocked my sister’s Nokia 6100 which was locked to Orange UK.

Here’s to the open market where consumers have choice.


I am updating this post to smother my sensitive premature post about mercenaries.

Lets take 32 Battalion in this recent story by the BBC.

The largely white South African Defence Force was backed by the Americans and British to fight a war in Angola against the (Cuban) communists, backed by the Soviets.

Many young South Africans were out there fighting in the bush, gaining years of experience.

The war sort of ended only in 1989. Just a couple of years later all these South African battalions were effectively disbanded.

SADF veterans are out of work. So some of them form a company supplying a demand to security services such as protecting oil fields for companies such as BP.

So are there any surprises when several south africans get caught on a plane on another job in the interest of companies who want to exploit Africa’s natural resources?


I have this TODO list trying to address some broken stuff in my setup.

I upgraded my BayStack 660 Wireless Access Point which was so fucking annoying. A win32 program was required, therefore I had to use my flatmates incredibly annoying Windows laptop. It doesn’t work. I still get millions of:

Mar 13 10:56:43 scrooge-15 kernel: eth0: New link status: AP In Range (0005)
Mar 13 10:57:23 scrooge-15 kernel: eth0: New link status: AP Out of Range (0004)

Or worse:

kern.log:Mar 14 01:17:53 scrooge-15 kernel: eth0: Error -110 writing Tx descriptor to BAP

Which can result in my TP T30 reaching full load and basically falling over. This hyped 802.11b thing is not usable for me. The wireless setup at school is just as precarious.

What else? Ion2 is such a bitch to get working like I want. I think I will go back to Ion1 as at least I could understand the configuration file. I really do not want to learn another language Lua this weekend in order to get my browser bound to F5.

I tried to get 3D acceleration in order to get prboom playable with my T30’s Radeon 7500 since I am now using X 4.3. No such luck, it seems like I need to compile a module. Urgh, I can’t be bothered to build my own kernel package. It’s just so easy with stock kernels.

Played around with apache-ssl, only to find out all I needed was a module enabled with my current Apache configuration. Waste more time…

I have gone back to only using Mozilla as my browser. Except why do the fonts look so crap compared to Fire(bird|fox). Lots of irritating house keeping to do.

Comment Spam

I’ve got my first comment spam today. At last!

Font mozilla debian

Crappy font in Mozilla with Debian ?

sudo apt-get install mozilla-xft

Woo, I just contributed to the wonderful Wikipedia on the trivial issue of tied ranks.

I am taking an Introduction to Statistics exam tomorrow. Five sweet Finnish credits which will be a third of what I need for a minor I sorely need in order to graduate.

I have also added a Section 11 about R in my tips and tricks page, which is also called a FAQ confusingly. I need to migrate that over to a blog format or something as google does not index those beauties. Oh about R, it’s a great statistics language that produces excellent graphics. I highly recommend the paperback book Introductory Statistics with R.

Halifax spam

My parents are visiting me in Helsinki and since the weather is so bad, I am helping my father manage his computer affairs. A couple of things I was annoyed about firstly is that his bank Halifax spam him.

Halifax logo


On their emails they do not even seem to have a standard way to opt-out:

Halifax plc. Registered in England No. 2367076. Registered Office: Trinity Road, Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 2RG.                                                                                                                       
If you would prefer not to receive further messages from this sender:                                                                                                                                                                   
1. Click on the Reply button.                                                                                                                                                                                                           
2. Replace the subject field with the word REMOVE.                                                                                                                                                                                      
3. Click the Send button.                                                                                                                                                                                                               
You will receive an additional e-mail message confirming your removal.     

Do you really think my 63 year old father can manage that? He only just manages to read my mail, and another:

To unsubscribe from further mailings, visit:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

He should change to a responsible bank.


Wireless and wired links. There does not seem to be any integration in my
Debian system.

I disconnect from the wired link and go into the kitchen. Net connection goes down.

Why can’t it just trip over to the wireless link?

Anyway, I sit down on the kitchen table and

sudo ifup eth0
which is
the wireless link. I usually forget if eth0 is the wireless card, and have to
dmesg | grep eth

Pain in the ass.

Then I put it up, but it doesn’t seem to work. Lets see route:

hendry@scrooge-15:~$ sudo route
Kernel IP routing table
Destination     Gateway         Genmask         Flags Metric Ref    Use Iface     *        U     0      0        0 eth1     *        U     0      0        0 eth0
default         UG    0      0        0 eth1

This took ages to come up. Argh.

Lets look at the network devices:

scrooge-15:/mnt/usbkey/dcim# /sbin/ifconfig 
eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:05:3C:06:B1:71  
          inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
          inet6 addr: fe80::205:3cff:fe06:b171/64 Scope:Link
          RX packets:16 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
          TX packets:5 errors:1 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
          collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000 
          RX bytes:1586 (1.5 KiB)  TX bytes:900 (900.0 b)
          Interrupt:11 Base address:0x9000 Memory:f8000000-f8000fff 

eth1 Link encap:Ethernet HWaddr 00:09:6B:D0:A0:61
inet addr: Bcast: Mask:
inet6 addr: fe80::209:6bff:fed0:a061/64 Scope:Link
RX packets:6310 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:7408 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:5 txqueuelen:1000
RX bytes:3906228 (3.7 MiB) TX bytes:946606 (924.4 KiB)
Interrupt:11 Base address:0×8000 Memory:d0200000-d0200038

lo Link encap:Local Loopback
inet addr: Mask:
inet6 addr: ::1/128 Scope:Host
RX packets:98 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
TX packets:98 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
RX bytes:10051 (9.8 KiB) TX bytes:10051 (9.8 KiB)

scrooge-15:/mnt/usbkey/dcim# sudo ifdown eth1
scrooge-15:/mnt/usbkey/dcim# sudo route
Kernel IP routing table
Destination Gateway Genmask Flags Metric Ref Use Iface * U 0 0 0 eth0
scrooge-15:/mnt/usbkey/dcim# ping
ping: unknown host

You know this is crazy. Not to mention mutt and my other network dependant applications freezing…

Is there some tool to help me out here? I do not like having to sudo around
when I change networking enviroment either.


Personal Python Software Projects TODO:

Rewrite gallery software. (I’ll append my design notes sometime)

Write new Rweb so it can handle GET requests.

Fix my acronym expander and perhaps prepare source for release.

Write a TinyURL type app which has XMLRPC/API interface and a bonus would be a privacy policy.

I will try mod_python again, and hopefully I’ll have more luck than I had in the past in getting it working. Need a public view of subversion repo (need to hack robots.txt support onto ViewCVS).


How many times how you seen this?


It annoys me as it makes items look like they cost nothing at first, then you end up staring at the small double digits beside the zero trying to make out the actual price.

Is there a good reason for this, besides the obvious marketing ploy?

Yes there is. So my dad tells me. When you run a shop and you sell items for say 1 EURO and you go up to pay the cashier/clerk. What stops the clerk from putting the 1 EURO in his or her pocket? The fact that the price is 99 cents means the clerk needs to register the purchase and open the till for the 1 cent change.

In Finland they don’t circulate 1 or 2 cent coins so it’s 95 cents here.


Prescription glasses from Estonia

Glasses modelled by Kai Hendry

A new pair of glasses I ordered from Estonia while I was there with my sister, arrived today. The total cost was 120 EUROs (including delivery). A friend told me he bought the cheapest pair of prescription glasses in Finland and it cost him 260 EUROs, so I have made a substantial saving.

It’s still a lot of money in my opinion. I lost my last pair of (more expensive) Armani glasses in a sauna, I think. Anyway, what do you dear reader think of my new look?


Aptitude in unstable used to work for me. Now I seem to have to press shift+u for it to start upgrading packages. Anyway, I am back to:

hendry@bilbo:~$ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get -u dist-upgrade

UPDATE: You need to goto into the menu, Options->Misc and select “Automatically upgrade installed packages”.

I don’t understand why that option changed, and it’s bad kudos all the same on such a fine tool :/