The Sun Has Gone Down

It’s hard to believe that Sun Microsystems, on whose workstations in the Computer Science lab at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth I first really learnt to hack^W play with UNIX systems (and no, I wasn’t studying CompSci!), is passing into the annals of history to become just another brand in the Oracle monolith. They’ve even delisted there SUNW^W JAVA symbol from NASDAQ (hat tip to Arjen for the link).

As Alec’s wonderful filk said:

We had Joy, We had fun,
We were fork()ing on a Sun,
but the joy is all gone,
’til the processes are Done [1].

shutdown -r now

Great Filesystem Quote

From Valerie Aurora on POSIX semantics:

It may not be POSIX, but the programmer’s intent is clear – no one ever, ever wrote “creat(); write(); close(); rename();” and hoped they would get an empty file if the system crashed during the next 5 minutes. That’s what truncate() is for.


Australia/Survival Day

Today is the public holiday commonly called Australia Day but really it’s only a good day for those of us who arrived since last 1787, for those who came before it’s been a bit crap. OK, a lot crap. 🙁 So today instead of participating in the usual ritual of barbie and beer Donna and I went up to the Belgrave Survival Day event, celebrating the fact that we still have people from the oldest continual culture in the world around!

Belgrave Surival Day 2010

A nice day, we were a bit late in getting there so we missed the earlier talks and dances but we did get to hear some good indigenous bands play and had a wander around to look at the displays and talk to people. If you want to know a little more about why these things are important have a browse of the ANTAR website.

Joining the Australian Internet Blackout

Along with folks like the Samba project I’ve joined the Great Australian Internet Blackout, so the first time (and only the first time) you visit the site you’ll get the notice about the protest. Here’s why the proposed mandatory filtering is a bad idea from the Great Australian Internet Blackout website:

  • It won’t protect children: The filter isn’t a “cyber safety” measure to stop kids seeing inappropriate content such as R and X rated websites. It is not even designed to prevent the spread of illegal material where it is most often found (chat rooms, peer-to-peer file sharing).
  • We will all pay for this ineffective solution: Under this policy, ISPs will be forced to charge more for consumer and business broadband. Several hundred thousand dollars has already been spent to test the filter – without considering high-speed services such as the National Broadband Network!
  • A dangerous precedent: We stand to join a small club of countries which impose centralised Internet censorship such as China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. The secret blacklist may be limited to “Refused Classification” content for now, but what might a future Australian Government choose to block?

If you’re using WordPress with a theme that supports widgets then participating is as easy as adding a text widget (or using one you already have) and add the single line of HTML to activate the blackout.

To paraphrase Kryten from Red Dwarf, it has just two minor flaws. One, it won’t work, and two, it won’t work. Now I realise that, technically speaking, that’s only one flaw but I thought it was such a big one it was worth mentioning twice.