Last night, I went down to Cow Lane, not far from where I live, to see the first phase of the new rail bridges put in place. Railtrack are spending £850m on upgrading the station and tracks around Reading over the next few years, including two new platforms at the station itself, new lines, and an overhead section so that freight trains can bypass the station without getting in the way of the passenger services. As part of this, they're widening the two bridges on Cow Lane to the west of the town, which have always been a major bottleneck on that road.
On Tuesday, I took delivery of the first set of parts for my RepRap from the local user group. I manfully held off from doing anything with it until today, when I settled down and built the frame. Sadly, the group wasn't able to print all of the frame parts that they'd intended to do, so it's a bit basic right now, but at least I know how much space it'll take up on my amusingly-titled "workbench".
Here's the email I sent to the btrfs mailing list a few moments ago:
Over the last few weeks, I've been playing with a foolish idea, mostly triggered by a cluster of people being confused by btrfs's free space reporting (df vs btrfs fi df vs btrfs fi show). I also wanted an excuse, and some code, to mess around in the depths of the FS data structures.
I've just got my hands on another arts and humanities data set. This one's smaller than most of the others I've been looking at, and it's been put together in an MS Access application. Fortunately, the owners are aware that that's not a maintainable approach, and want a method of publishing it on the Web. Also, rather nicely, they've been aware of a number of data issues, such as regularisation of text fields: they've partially normalised the data, and effectively have a good ontology for their data.
Sadly, it's not all rosy:
One of the major problems with building a distributed system is that it's distributed. This means that the parts of the system need to talk to each other. Of course, these days, networks are viewed by most large network operators (e.g. universities) as hostile environments, where anything even remotely risky is split out, preferably into its own little subnet.
I took a good deep look at one of the datasets I'm meant to be linking up today. Actually, it's four separate datasets, but all held within the same database. I poked around a bit, and found this:
Last night, I went to the Farnham Beerex — one of the country's longest-running beer festivals.
I went with Alan. And Alan. And Alan. Too many Alans for sanity, in fact:
$ wget http://repo1.maven.org/maven2/asm/asm/3.1/asm-3.1.jar [...] HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 403 Forbidden $ wget -U "Pointless arseholes" http://repo1.maven.org/maven2/asm/asm/3.1/asm-3.1.jar [...] HTTP request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Was there some purpose to this minor irritation?
When we started this project many moons ago, we started with 10 identified repositories that we wanted to work with. Of those, two were new systems, being planned or put in. And therein lies the rub… It's hard to write and test code against something that doesn't exist yet (or which is partly set-up and has little data in it). It's even harder to do when the configuration changes under you as they modify their testbed.