July 29th, 2005


Sky Fragment Reign

I seem to be having interesting corrispondences and conversations recently. JasonE reminded me of something about how I live my life that I need to chew on, Debb asked me an interesting question, Martha pointed out an area where I might not have been fair, and Eric suggested that my last BLOG entry might be based on misinterpretation, or at least an overly uncharitable interpretation. Most of the conversations are private, but they are at the very least interesting to me.

Meanwhile, I'm installing Fedora4 on my old desktop, and finding that the PPro200's new CDROM isn't in top shape -- while reading the media to do an install, there's an audible shake, and it often gets read errors that are fixed by telling it to retry reading the package. Frustrating, but at least the install can proceed with enough babysitting. Whenever a read error occurs, it brings up a dialogue box with a "Reboot" button on the left, and a "Retry" on the right. This invokes a small neurosis I have because Reboot is selected. I have little faith in the ability to do a large amount of things correctly that take effort, and keep imagining that every so often in a sufficiently large set, they'll do the wrong thing. This makes me think that I'll never make it through the install, because sooner or later I won't hit the right arrow and hit return, but will instead just hit return, rebooting the box and aborting the install. I believe in errors, and don't think that things that rely on perfect performance for a large amount of trials are possible. It's not exactly a strong belief, but a herustic of mistrust. I probably have a number of other cynical heuristics that plague me.


Divine Stumblings

The install completed for once and future Holly, but unfortunately failed to boot. Adding noacpi to the boot string helped a bit -- it got further before it froze. To debug things, I pass init=/bin/sh along, and I get a kernel panic. Hmm. Maybe every time I hit retry on a failed package, it turned off error checking and installed whatever it read from the CD, good checksum or not. I'm restarting the install as a net install -- hopefully that will do the trick. If that doesn't work, I'll give BSD a shot on this box. It's irritating that the system worked fine under Redhat 6, and I've made a great leap backwards in trying to install Fedora 4. I'd be tempted to just use Knoppix, but I don't think Knoppix is designed for such old hardware, and I think the CD-ROM being funky is a big contributor to the last install giving me an unusable system.

In other news, I am thrilled to finally have gotten the green light to retire one of the oldest systems at work, and also happy to be surplussing a number of the ancient G3s and G2s that were cluttering up the offices. Hurrah.


(no subject)

It turns out that doing a net install worked fine. This confirms that somehow, the "Retry" button on the Fedora installer is badly broken and can easily lead to an inconsistent system with the packages either not installed, or installed without necessarily being read correctly. The system works now, although I noticed one other gotcha just now. Recent versions of yum apparently have each repository learn where the repository can be downloaded from by contacting Redhat's website. All good, but the fedora section of their website is undergoing maintenance, which I only learned after prodding at how yum works for awhile. I bet this is going to confuse a lot of people while the maintenance lasts.

Listening more to the Anastacia soundtrack, I am impressed at how badly it mangles Russian history. It's one thing to make Rasputin into some kind of powerful undead sorceror, it's another thing to have him actually be hunting down Anastacia Romanov. It'd be like the ghost of Paul Revere going after the zombie of George Washington -- regardless of artistic licence, the two were on the SAME SIDE. Rasputin was a friend of the Russian royal family, and would not have supported the Bolshevik/Menschevik cause.

While doing some spot research on the background of this now, I came across two interesting quotes that Lenin assembled together for commentary (which I will omit) on the Trudoviks (The Agrarian Programme of Social-Democracy in the First Russian Revolution, 1905-1907).

Nechitailo: These lands that belong to the peoplewe are told: buy them. Are we foreigners, who have arrived from England, France, and so forth? This is our country, why should we have to buy our own land? We have already paid for it ten times over with blood, sweat, and money

Saratov Gubernia: Gentlemen of the nobility, do you think we do not know when you used us as stakes in your card games, when you bartered us for dogs? We do. It was all your sacred, inviolable property.... You stole the land from us.... The peasants who sent me here said this: The land is ours. We have come here not to buy it, but to take it