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Simon Anderson

Hubzilla is unsable

!Hubzilla Support Forum

This software is unbelievably shit.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand off I go. I love the unfollow thread feature in Hubzilla. It is magic ;-)
Awww gawd! Me too!! Thanks Sophie, i didn't notice that before. :)

But like my friend at work said: "You aint made it in Hollywood until you got a video of you having sex, that's been shared with the whole world on the net..."
maybe you aint made it as a social platform/system. until you got your first unsocials/trolls? :)

And now - off 'i' go.
Unfollow thread? Yet another splendid feature of Hubzilla :)
You're never too old to own a pencil case..


..and converting this cigar box into one was a fun little project.

Learned Behaviour and an Environmental Response

  last edited: Sun, 13 May 2018 15:20:34 +1200  
As I walked around the corner into Newmarket train station this evening, I noticed this Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 lying on the ground. I suspected it might belong to the bloke who had just ridden past me on a bicycle.

I managed to catch up with him in the station when he stopped to buy a ticket.

"Chap I suspect I have found something which belongs to you," I stated flatly, conscious of the universal proscription against addressing other passengers on public transport. "Could you check your belongings to see if something is missing and if so, tell me what that something is?"

The cyclist gave his pockets a once-over, and declared nothing missing. His attitude was uncompromising.

Hostile, even aggressive.

"Righto," I placated, thinking to myself that his attitude was just reward for my attempt at being a good Samaritan. "Sorry to bother you."

When I got home I examined the tablet. The only identifying information I could find was an email reminder about an overdue library book, which included a bloke's name and a landline number. I called the number, he wasn't home, so I left a message for him to call me, explaining I suspected I had found something which belonged to him which I would return if he could identify.

Ten minutes later the owner of the tablet called me back. Lo and behold, it was the cyclist. I felt rather smug about this, given his earlier attitude. I arranged for him to come to my work tomorrow to collect his tablet.

He wrote the details down as I spelled them out over the phone.

V.. e.. c.. t.. o.. r.

C.. a.. r.. l.. t.. o.. n.. G.. o.. r.. e.. R.. o.. a.. d.

S.. i.. m.. o.. n.. A.. n.. d.. e.. r.. s.. o.. n.

It took five excruciating minutes for me to say and for him to transcribe. I had to give him each letter individually and repeat myself often, as he continually struggled, unable to cope with whole words or multiple letters at a time.

I realised almost immediately this chap was intellectually impaired, a fact I hadn't observed during our brief encounter. I surmised that his belligerent attitude at the train station was purely a defence mechanism, a survival strategy adopted to avoid exploitation by all the people smarter than him in an adversarial world.

A little too dumb to function, smart enough to know people can be inclined to fuck you over if afforded the opportunity.

Not me little brother, I'm a stranger who went out of my way to do right by you.

But on reflection, I hope my altruism doesn't dissuade you from your approach to life. On balance I reckon you've extrapolated from your experiences to reach the correct conclusion: in your circumstance you're better off expecting the worst from people.

-SRA. Auckland, 24/ix 2014.

Auckland CBD WiFi contention

One Day in a Post-Human Life, Approaching the Singularity.

  last edited: Thu, 10 May 2018 02:49:28 +1200  
One Day in a Post-Human Life, Approaching the Singularity.

The 24th of January was a Thursday.

I don't recall that it was a Thursday, I looked it up in my calendar. When I did, I noticed that "Diving" was my only appointment that day. I remember now, the 24th of January was a day I went diving. I remember only the highlights: where, who with and the dives themselves.

I decided to delve a little deeper into my day.

I awoke when my alarm sounded at 7:30 but didn't get out of bed until 7:50, when Google Now dinged to tell me to leave for my diving appointment. I must have packed the night before, because I was over the Harbour Bridge at 8:08:56.

I called my parents a couple of minutes later to tell them I was diving for the day, as they're the first two people that the Rescue Coordination Centre in Wellington will call if my ID string is received from the Cospas-Sarsat satellite constellation, indicating that I am in distress and have activated the Locator Beacon that I always carry with me on and in the water.

I made it to my destination, Sandspit, in 52 minutes. I took the toll road which cost $9.30, averaging 82km/h and topping out at 114km/h, with a fuel consumption rate of 9.4 litres. The engine core temperature fluctuated around 90 Celsius and I had the air conditioning on the whole way.

It must have taken a couple of hours to gear up and prepare the boat as we didn't depart for our launch spot at Mangawhai until 10:23:27. I might not have been all that helpful, preoccupied with the 4 email messages I sent. The Deli in Mangawhai was closed for renovation -I remember now- so I bought my lunch next door at the bakery, for $11.70.

Windspeed was 5 knots from the South West so the crossing to the Hen Island was calm, taking an hour and six minutes. I did two dives, both on a single tank of normal air, 1 hour and 14 minutes apart. The first dive was for 55 minutes to a maximum depth of 17 metres and the water temperature was 21 Celcius. The second dive was for 21 minutes to a maximum depth of 27 metres and the water temperature was 16 Celcius. My heartrate averaged 81 BPM over the two dives though it topped out at 131 while I was gearing up. My air consumption rate was a little under 20 litres/minute. My Nitrogen and Oxygen exposure remained within acceptable parameters throughout.

Around about this time, 2Degress debited my credit card for monthly cellular access. I know I was wearing my drysuit because one of the other divers snapped a photograph with my phone, of me wearing it.

We were back on shore at Mangawai with the boat packed, ready to depart at 17:28:37. I was only in Sandspit for seven minutes, so I didn't hang around for a beer or to help wash down the boat. I drove back to Auckland, picking up noodles from Quay Street for $19.50. I ate this at home with a glass or more of Oyster Bay Pinot Gris, which cost $24.90.

I called my parents to tell them that I'd arrived home, at 21:05.

At 21:05 I booted up my workstation and commenced downloading the première of "Ripper Street" which took 33 minutes. While I waited I checked out Matthew McFadyen on IMDB, read several article from the tech press, posts from the political blogoshere and world news from a variety of newspapers, mostly in London. I perused job postings and ignored the 71 other emails I'd received. I wished my friend Lesley a Happy Birthday and posted the photograph of me on the boat to Social Networks. I watched the episode. At 10:55:36 I turned my workstation off and went to bed. I read the author Ken MacLeod on my Kindle for a while, before I went to sleep.

Of course, I remember hardly any of this. I looked it up. It's all contained within my digital footprint.

I electronically queried the following devices, services, organisations, sensors, systems and applications to collate this digital detail: Android, Samsung Galaxy S3, Torque, OBDKey, Audi, Barcode Scanner, Uwatec Galileo Sol, Uwatec tank transceiver, Polar heart monitor, Jtrak, Facebook, Google, Amazon, Online Banking, GNUCash, 2Degrees, Kindle, Firefox, Linux, Evolution, Twitter, Pidgin, Xabber, Viber, LinkedIn,, The Collective.

My life is augmented by these electronic systems recording my activities and my environment, that aid in my decision making and act on my behalf. Some of these systems are entirely within my control, some are controlled by others who allow me to access them. Some are manual, some are automated. In each case, these systems are storing, delivering and manipulating information which is generated by me, is about me, or directly affects me.

And there's a lot of it. Who I am and what I do is contained within this detail. It is all-pervasive, intrinsic to my well-being. As a result I'm no longer, strictly speaking, a member of Homo-Sapiens. I've transcended to the Post-Human.

You have, too.

Revel in your shiny, new, electronically-augmented, self.

Over the next while you'll hear terms like "Lifelogging," "Quantitative Self" and "Lifestreaming" -if you haven't already- as the prevalence of biometric and other sensors add to the data mountain we build about ourselves. In fact you're contributing to this already, as you post to Facebook, make a phone call, pay a bill, browse the web, track the Fitbit device attached to your body for the Millionaire Challenge, wear a heartrate monitor whilst you exercise, or put on a pair of Google Glasses to go about your day.

Right now these systems are discreet, rather than collated. Imagine if they were collated: a sort of Facebook Timeline containing various streams, representing all this information.

Finance. Health. Travel. Consumption. Sex. Socialising. Exercise. Sleep. Work. Play.

Now imagine adding to that, details obtained from Inland Revenue, your GP, School, Dentist, Immigration, Interpol, your employer, whoever.

Such a tool would be incredibly useful to you.

And convenient for anyone else, interested in your data.

-SRA 21/iv 2013.

(Title inspired by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Topic inspired by an email exchange with my friend and colleague, Stuart Little.)
And in the evenings, I'd read to her.

  last edited: Sun, 13 May 2018 15:13:03 +1200  

And in the evenings, I'd read to her.

She'd rest her head against my shoulder and read along, whilst I narrated and she listened to my words. I'd hold the book and she would turn the pages.

She'd kiss me, when she knew I found the material unsettling, or bury her face into my neck when it unsettled her. And she'd laugh. The laughter of someone who is truly happy. I'd laugh too, content in the knowledge she was safe

And warm

And happy

In the crook of my arm, in the place that was hers.

We would read many things together. Often my taste in books, always passages I thought she'd enjoy. Or I thought edifying. Or just maybe, might offer a glimpse into my soul.

A transcendent intimacy.

The rise and fall of my chest would soothe her, the metronomic beat of my heart. I would lower my voice and speak slowly, allowing her drift. Eventually I'd desist and read on silently

Alone, but not really.

She would cling in her sleep, cradled and coddled. If I tensed to move she would grunt and grasp tighter, preventing me. And kiss me in reward, when I relaxed, in her sleep.

I'd lie awake for hours, happily frustrated. Not comfortable enough to sleep, unwilling to disturb.

Waiting for her to roll over.

So that I could roll over, too.

-SRA. 'Reminiscences.' Auckland. 24/iv, 2006.

Tremendous of Sparx to release Enterprise Architect 14 six days before my subscription expires.
  last edited: Wed, 09 May 2018 15:33:06 +1200  

“For generations, he has guarded over my family.

Since the days of my great-great-grandfather he has kept us safe. For so long we thought him immortal.

But now I see differently.

For just as my fur grows grey and my joints grow stiff, so too do his. He did not take in my children, but gave them away to his.

I will be the last that he cares for.

My only hope is that I am able to last until his final moments. The death of one of his kind is so rare. The ending of a life so long is such a tragedy. He has seen so much, he knows so much. I know he takes comfort in my presence.

I only wish that I will be able to give him this comfort until the end.”

A brief tutorial on nib replacement

A quick tutorial on nib replacement, with a photograph of my testing on two pages.

If you've taken my recommendation or received a fountain pen from me, you're almost almost certainly in possession of a Noodler's Ink Ahab, pound-for-pound the best FP available. One of the reasons I recommend it is it's a flex pen (flexing can provide line variation) with an Ebonite feed (which is malleable.) The advice below applies equally to the Ahab.

Flex writing is a particular thing. Line variation is achieved through pressure, typically applied on the downstrokes.

The model up from the Ahab in the Noodler's range is the Neponset. Whilst both are flex pens, the Neponset is a MUSIC NIB, meaning it possesses three tines instead of two. This supplies greater ink flow thus greater line variation than the standard flex nib of the Ahab.

I use the Neponset and its music nib for my Christmas cards. This Christmas I stressed the nib with too much pressure and fucked it, beyond repair.

I obtained a replacement nib and feed combination from Noodler's. They offered me a replacement pen free of charge which I declined, because the damage was my fault and not a design flaw, and I'm -pretty much- an honest person.

Using a paper towel I pulled the broken nib/feed from the section and discarded them. I inserted the replacement nib/feed into the section.

Now here's where it DOESN'T get tricky. There are two things you can do to adjust the ink flow in a pen with an Ebonite feed, such as a Noodler's. You can:

(•a) Let's call this the VERTICAL- adjust the depth of insertion, of the nib/feed into the section.

The further you insert the nib/feed, the less the ink flow will be.

(•b) Let's call this the HORIZONTAL- Adjust the relationship between the nib and the feed.

By heating the feed in hot water or with a hair drier, it becomes malleable. When it's malleable one can use finger pressure to mould it into position against the nib.

Now consider the photograph. I had to perform (•a) but I didn't have to perform (•b).

When first writing with a nib it can be a little stiff. I spent five minutes testing the nib with poor results. As you can see on the right-hand page, I had railroading when I applied pressure. To remediate this I pulled the nib and feed out a bit and voilà! the pen is laying down so much ink it's feathering on the page.

It may be the case that over time I might need to heat the feed to adjust the (•b) HORIZONTAL but right now it's performing fine. And all I did was (•a) the VERTICAL: insert the replacement nib/feed, and push it out/pull it in until I was happy with it.

This took five minutes. It wasn't hard, requiring merely a little patience and a willingness to accept inky fingers.

-SRA. Auckland, 24/i 2018.