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Wednesday, 20 June 2018 Dereel
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A new disk for teevee
Topic: multimedia, technology Link here

I'm collecting a lot of video files on teevee that I don't want to erase. And the file system is getting full:

=== grog@tevee (/dev/pts/3) ~ 23 -> df /spool
Filesystem     1048576-blocks      Used     Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/ada0p4         2,784,209 2,721,807    34,559    99%    /teevee/spool

So I bought a 6 TB drive to replace it. I'm gradually getting the routine of this:

  1. Put the disk into a different machine as a second disk, in this case the old tiwi.

  2. Partition as the disk in teevee, with the exception of the larger last partition:

    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 385 -> DRIVE=ada1
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 386 -> gpart create -s gpt $DRIVE
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 387 -> gpart add -s 64k -t freebsd-boot $DRIVE
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 388 -> # Install boot loader.  Note that -i is the partition number
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 389 -> gpart bootcode -b /boot/pmbr -p /boot/gptboot -i 1 $DRIVE
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 390 -> gpart add -s 83886080  -t freebsd-ufs $DRIVE
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 391 -> gpart add -s 30g -t freebsd-swap $DRIVE
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 392 -> gpart add -t freebsd-ufs $DRIVE
    === root@tiwi (/dev/pts/0) ~ 393 -> gpart show $DRIVE
  3. Run newfs. In the case of the /spool file system, which needs significantly different parameters, first get the newfs line from dumpfs on the old machine:

    === grog@teevee (/dev/pts/7) ~ 6 -> dumpfs -m /spool
    # newfs command for /spool (/dev/ada0p4)
    newfs -L Videos -O 2 -U -a 64 -b 32768 -d 32768 -e 2048 -f 4096 -g 2097152 -h 64 -i 1847296 -k 1152 -m 1 -o space -s 5702060032 /dev/ada0p4

    The size (-s) is incorrect for the new file system, but I can just omit it to use the rest of the disk. And of course the device name needs to be checked too.

  4. Mount the teevee file systems via NFS on tiwi and copy the files:

    cd /teevee/spool
    rsync -vaH * /spool | tee -a /var/tmp/rsynced-backup
    cd /mnt            # teevee:/ was mounted here
    rsync -vaH --delete-after * /teevee | tee -a /var/tmp/rsynced-roo

    I did these in parallel. Why --delete-after with the root file system? I had started the first time with tar instead of rsync.

All went well, and when I came back after dinner the root file system had been copied. But what did I see with /spool? Can't copy file: file has vanished!

Looking at what had happened was sobering. Here's what I had some time before dinner:

=== grog@tiwi (/dev/pts/3) ~ 23 -> df
Filesystem     1048576-blocks      Used     Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/ada0p2            19,831    11,756     6,488    64%    /
devfs                       0         0         0   100%    /dev
/dev/ada0p4            19,831    11,020     7,224    60%    /destdir
/dev/ada0p5           412,373   332,095    47,288    88%    /home
linprocfs                   0         0         0   100%    /compat/linux/proc
eureka:/               39,662    27,077     9,411    74%    /eureka
eureka:/home        2,820,026 2,513,661    80,763    97%    /eureka/home
eureka:/Photos      7,629,565 4,604,297 2,948,972    61%    /Photos
teevee:/               64,456    51,685     7,614    87%    /mnt
/dev/ada1p2            64,456    48,650    10,649    82%    /teevee
/dev/ada1p5         5,568,407   421,444 5,091,278     8%    /spool
teevee:/spool       2,784,209 2,721,807    34,559    99%    /teevee/spool

But now I had:

=== grog@tiwi (/dev/pts/3) ~ 23 -> df
Filesystem     1048576-blocks      Used     Avail Capacity  Mounted on
teevee:/spool       2,784,209         0 2,756,366     0%    /teevee/spool

2.7 terabytes of data lost! How could that happen? The log from copying the root file system gave the clue. After completing the sync, I had:

deleting spool/ports/
deleting spool/camera/dontdotar
deleting spool/camera/K32.S.01
deleting spool/camera/K32.S
deleting spool/camera/
deleting spool/Videos/Winnetou/Winnetous-Sohn-20180223-193000.txt

I had made not one, but three blunders:

  1. I had mounted teevee:/spool under the local tiwi:/teevee, the destination of the root file system copy.
  2. I had specified --delete-after in the sync.
  3. (As I later discovered) I hadn't backed up teevee:/spool for three weeks.

The first blunder was the worst. If I had mounted the file systems sanely, nothing would have gone wrong, and in principle --delete-after makes perfect sense. But as it was, I had deleted more data than I had ever seen (in total) before about ten years ago.

Set to restoring the backup. I'll have to download the rest over the course of the next few days.

eBay blunder
Topic: general, technology, opinion Link here

eBay has had some good discounts recently, coming up to the end of the financial year. In particular, they had 20% a whole selection of household appliances from The Good Guys. I had wanted to buy a new freezer, and the Good Guys were one option. 20% off made them by far the best deal. OK, go for it: select “Buy It Now”, enter the discount code, and press “Pay Now”.

WRONG, FOOL! First you need to press “Apply discount”. And as it was, without so much as a by your leave, I paid the full price, $309.80 too much. Grrrr!

Yes, this is PEBKAC, but the web page could have told me that I had outstanding inputs, like so many others. But there's nothing for it. Contact seller, please cancel, and I'll buy again with the discount.

But of course the only way to contact the seller was by “email”, in other words a web form. Filled that out and then spent a lot of time trying to find a phone number, but no, they're not even in the phone book! I can contact individual branches, but that's all.

OK, call up eBay and see if they can apply the discount. No, sorry, no way, says June. But since it was at least partially their fault (though I don't think she completely understood the details of what I told her), they could give me a discount voucher for $310 (why not $309.80? I got the feeling that the decimals were too complicated). Applicable to a single payment (not necessarily purchase) in the next month. Under the circumstances, that sounded like the best option, so I took it.

Later in the evening, though, I got a reply from the Good Guys. Yes, they had cancelled the order, before the discount expired, so I bought as promised with the discount. And I still have the voucher for $310! I have eaten my cake and still have it.

Communicating with old fogeys
Topic: technology, general, opinion Link here

Mark Newton came by on the IRC discussion about the fridge purchase, and brought a valid point:

why on earth would they want to pay people to sit in call centres?

I suppose that makes sense, but there should be a way to contact people in emergencies. In this particular case it wouldn't have been so bad if it hadn't been for the fact that the discount expires tonight. He went on to say:

people older than about 50 spent their formative years where the only way they could interact with a company is via phone, and that's the vector they expect. People younger grew up dealing with companies using the web. Over-50s are a small enough minority that it's not worth investing in people and systems to cater for them; if they change their behavior, they stop being a minority at zero cost to the supplier.

OK, I'm over 50—way over 50. How old is Mark? He could be in that age group, or close to it. But on reflection, no, I don't usually like to communicate by phone. I'd far prefer email, and I've ranted about that in the past. It's just on athis occasion, because I needed an immediate response.

Thinking further, people in my age group spent their formative years without the option of getting very much done by phone. 50 years ago I spent many fruitless journeys to people's houses to see if they were there. Either they didn't have a phone, or it didn't occur to me to call them. And if you wanted to do any kind of business, you had to be physically present. It wasn't until I returned to Australia 21 years ago that I discovered I could get some business done by phone. But it's interesting to see that a means of communication has come and gone in that time.

Investigating cpfind
Topic: photography, technology, opinion Link here

OK, why does cpfind --multirow only find control points in adjacent images? Took a look at the code. My guesses weren't very accurate.

Firstly, this is C++, not C, so processing options is an order of magnitude more complicated than a simple switch statement. But round main.cpp(399), I found:

    if(doLinearMatch + doMultirow + doPrealign>1)
        std::cerr << hugin_utils::stripPath(argv[0]) << ": The arguments --linearmatch, --multirow and --prealigned are" << std::endl
             << "  mutually exclusive. Use only one of them." << std::endl;
        return false;

Admire that };, of which there are many. But clearly I didn't have both --linearmatch and --multirow. Looked a bit further and found the processing for multirow, but like everything in C++, it is so convoluted that you need to know all the internals before you start. Gave up and sent a message to the developers' list. We'll see what happens.

Happy anniversary, FreeBSD
Topic: technology Link here

Yesterday, I was told, was the 25th anniversary of the naming of the FreeBSD project:

06/19     Charlie Root <> born in Portland, Oregon, United States, 1993
06/19     FreeBSD project born, 1993

But no, it seems that the time was based on a message that David Greenman sent:

To: (Interim 0.1.5)
Subject: Re: "386BSD" trademark (fwd)
From: David Greenman <>
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 93 17:26:02 -0700

So, like the first datagram over the ARPANET, it really happened on the following day based on UTC. So another day to celebrate!

Thursday, 21 June 2018 Dereel Images for 21 June 2018
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teevee, the day after
Topic: multimedia, technology Link here

Into the office this morning, and found that restoring my video files for teevee had completed. OK, put the new disk in teevee and see what happens. For once, everything Just Worked. All I had to do was re-download what images I could still find (some had expired). That proved to be round 50 GB, but what's that nowadays?

Huevos a la tigre again
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Another attempt at huevos a la tigre today. The biggest issue I now have is what to serve them in. I want two fried eggs, not one, and somehow the pots I have seem cramped:

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A new lens
Topic: photography, technology, general Link here

So I have a discount voucher from eBay for $310, though I was able to cancel the sale and buy the freezer with discount. I have my cake and I've eaten it!

Am I still entitled to the discount voucher? They didn't say anything about what would happen if the seller accepted the return, though I had mentioned that I had asked for a return. Still, consistency was never an eBay virtue, so the sooner I apply the voucher, the better.

On Tuesday I missed out on buying a lens (M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75 mm f/1.8) on eBay. I had sniped $526, but the snipe had failed, and the lens had gone for $515. There was another one going, but he wanted a starting bid of $550—or offer. OK, offer the $515. Got a counteroffer from him for $530. That sounds reasonable enough; after the voucher, it would be $220.

Set to pay. No mention of the discount on the page. No, I'm not going through that again. Get eBay to call me and walk me through it. Yes, this time I don't need to enter the code there, just two pages further on after I have already committed to buy it.

As I was just thinking, consistency was never an eBay virtue. What a mess these people are! But yes, I got the item for $220. Somehow I think that, financially at any rate, this experience has compensated for my annoyances with eBay.

cpfind issue
Topic: photography, technology Link here

Response from Thomas Modes on the Hugin mailing list today. It seems that the issue was a bug with fisheye lenses, which would explain why nobody has reported it before. He's committed something, but I can't be bothered to test it yet. He didn't say what good --multirow is, so I'll just ignore it.

More baked beans
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

Another lot of baked beans today. I think I've given up on putting beef stock powder in the beans, so the current ingredient list is:

quantity       ingredient       step
750 g       dried white beans       1
400 g       onion       2
75 g       oil for frying       2
480 g       tinned tomatoes (800 g can)       3
25 g       tomato purée       3
      smoked ham skin to taste       3
up to 500 ml       water (to cover)       3
45 g (total)       salt       4

How long do you cook? These are the same beans as I used for cassoulet two weeks ago. Then I was surprised that the beans only needed an hour's cooking, and here I had written 4 hours. But after two hours they were barely cooked, as I discovered a little late. So one hour for boiling, at least 3 hours for baking it is.

Steak and kidney pie
Topic: food and drink, opinion Link here

It's been forever since we last made steak and kidney pie, so long that I had forgotten that I had a recipe. In the last couple of days I've researched again and basically come up with the same recipe as before, except with onions and without liquid. And this time I cooked the meat before making individual pies.

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How long? And at what temperature? Joy of Cooking says 350° F, whatever that is (proves to be about 177°). But that was far too hot. I turned it down to 160°, still too much:

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Cooked for about an hour, by which time it was cooked but rather dry. My original supplement of water to 10% of the weight of the meat sounds like a good idea.

So is putting them in individual pots:

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How much salt? I'm coming to the general rule of thumb that in this kind of food (meat or vegetable based, cooked) I should put 2% by weight of salt. The recipes I found in the books either completely ignored salt, or just said “add salt and pepper”. Last time round (I now discover) I used 10 g for 750 g of meat, and this time, to be cautious, I used 20 g for 1.5 kg meat. That's about 1.3% each time, and it wasn't enough. Next time I'll do 2%.

This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.

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