2016 — 28 October: Friday

The list of "Forces of Nature" out there1 is headed, at the moment, by the one that says "Having spent 20 minutes or more wide awake after four hours or so of sleep..." just get up, make yourself a cuppa, grab a biccie, and potter around for a while.

Whatever's on...

... what passes for my mind these days will either surface for inspection, or crash dive back under the ice. I wonder if it's too late for me to become an alcoholic :-)

Meanwhile, have my two non-SSD NAS boxes woken up in sympathy, or do they always do this at 3:30 in the morning, I wonder?

rsync of (non-)iniquity

I've not only figured out what was bubbling up, I've fixed it, too. My dinky little SSD NAS contains only the one 500GB SSD, and was thus a single point of (potential) failure. It's where I keep, and edit, my web files before publishing them to the external web server by running what is (in essence) a manual "rsync" command to upload them to the AWS storage bucket. It's there that the external 'molehole' web files are served from.

Having read the Synology Help files on "Shared Folder Sync", here's a clue as to what I've just been up to:

rsync success

Having created a new shared folder on NAS #1 (the "destination"), I've just successfully paired it with the webfiles I edit on the SSD NAS (the "source") and done my initial full synchronisation. From now on, whenever I create or edit a file on the SSD NAS it automatically synchronises a copy of the new or changed file over my LAN on to NAS #1. Instant local backup, in other words.

I thus now have two points of (potential) failure... much better!

Four more...

... hours of sleep, and I'm good better to go. [Pause] So, too, is this file which (I've just confirmed) gets re-written to the backup NAS within mere seconds.

Whatever the latest build...

... of my Thunderbird email client brought to the Linux table a few hours ago, it didn't manage to resurrect any communication with Gmail's SMTP server so it's the webmail interface for me from now on, it seems. I've just re-checked my router's security and firewall settings to make certain I didn't inadvertently block it there the other day when I was adjusting upwards2 the level of my defences.

There's a "low" level of port scanning and probing going on out there from the Wild West Web. But I shan't bother / can't be bothered to research the IP address(es) of the offender(s) at this point. They aren't getting in.

Breakfast, methinks, before tackling the food deficit situation in the cupboard of Mother Hubbard.

Here's a perfect example of what I don't like to see on a web page:

mangled characters

The original piece in "The Paris Review" merely contained an ellipsis. And an apostrophe. And you can even see they can manage an ellipsis!

There's a story...

... sadly behind either a paywall or, at least, a registration barrier, on "The Independent" today:

fossilised dinosaur brain

Could the intrepid paleontologists not thought to have scanned the back benches of the House of Commons first?

I'm tickled...

... by the years that separate these nuggets:

We spend most of our careers locating and fixing bugs. Maurice Wilkes, director of the Cambridge EDSAC project, recalls the exact moment in June 1949 when, "hesitating at the angle of the stairs," he realised that "a good part of the remainder of my life was going to be spent in finding errors in my own programs."

Quoted in Daniel Kohanski's 1998 book "The Philosophical Programmer"

"I don't want to be fixing the same bugs 20 years from now. Security needs to be concerned about minimizing overall effort, and so we're reducing the difficulty of encryption."

Dan Kaminsky, quoted in El Reg

On returning...

... from my tea'n'biccie with Roger & Eileen I sat in the car, on my driveway, listening to Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4 gently extracting some form of (long overdue) atonement from Trump's remorseful ghostwriter Tony Schwartz (who had written the 1987 'memoir' The Art of the Deal). In a "New Yorker" piece back in July, Jane Mayer had also got some interesting admissions from Schwartz about this (to my eyes) completely ludicrous candidate for high office:

"I put lipstick on a pig," he said. "I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is." He went on, "I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization."
If he were writing "The Art of the Deal" today, Schwartz said, it would be a very different book with a very different title. Asked what he would call it, he answered, "The Sociopath."

Jane Mayer in New Yorker

Not overly different, in other words, from many another swaggering alpha male.

Shock! Horror!

It was only when playing an Anne Hilde Neset-curated "Late Junction" programme that has a bit of Miles Davis's "Guinnevere" (sic) on it — the David Crosby tune that was first released on the "Circle in the Round" odds and ends double vinyl album — that I realised (a) that is currently absent from my collection (except in the form of a minidisc I long ago recorded from a cassette I even longer ago recorded from a vinyl that I now barely recall owning at one stage), and (b) I don't have a clue where my awkward-to-file metal CD box set of the "Complete Bitches Brew" sessions is. (This has a slightly longer version of "Guinnevere", which fact is of very minor significance in light of the absence of the box set, of course.)

Amazon MP3s to the rescue. It is now playing. Very cool.


1  That it is unprofitable to fight too hard against.
2  I wasn't over-impressed to discover that my ISP — supplier of this router that's been "carefully tailored" to best suit my fibre connection needs — had permitted both UP'n'P and Remote Desktop Access by default. For the sake of in-house gaming, as far as I could see. "We have met the enemy" as Pogo observes "and he is... us!"