Another dactyl update

So, all of dactyl's core system software has been rebuilt, anything that previously was causing errors has been replaced (speaking of which, dovecot imap is soooooooo much better than courier imap), and I've said several incantations.

There's one more step that I'm going to take later to rebuild ALL of the software on dactyl. If that doesn't fix things, then it's a hardware issue. (Of course, hardware issues might be fixable just by using a little spray air.)

Think good thoughts and hopefully there won't be any more freezes.

Oh, and while you're blogging, be sure to click the little Turbo button at the top right of the screen once you've logged into the blog. It does fancy things to move more of the work to your computer instead of having dactyl prepare the pages and it might be a little bit faster.


More Dactyl Work

Thanks to Meghan's help yesterday, dactyl is back up and running and I'm madly trying to figure out what's going wrong.

I'm trying to cut out a little bit of the load... dactyl was slow when it was built and now it's crazy-slow compared to any reasonable computer, so I've turned off a couple of services. If anyone needs them, I can turn them back on.

Specifically, does anyone mount their dactyl home directory on the desktop of the computer for backup or to edit their web pages etc?

Does anyone listen to the "woodbox" music on dactyl?

Last, does anyone use dactyl as a dns server?

If you have strong feelings about any of these things, let me know.


Saving Science

This is probably a case of preaching to the choir, but in recent discussions outside of academia I have been consistently surprised at (a) the degree of scientific illiteracy and (b) perhaps relatedly, the lack of concern about the degree to which the scientific community has been gutted willfully hamstrung by the outgoing administration. David Gergen summarizes this nicely in a recent post:

Many leaders in the science and technology community feel they have been in a virtual war with the Bush administration. They despaired, as one told me this weekend, that “no one was ever home” and that the Bush team was so dismissive of key scientific research that it threatened our future.

Gergen outlines just a few of W's transgressions, which again will come as no surprise to many readers, but when viewed together it's still impressive/depressing - but also very inspirational to consider what Obama can do to fix things.

  • The President and the men around him have been so ideologically opposed to the idea of man-made global warming that they first put their heads in the sand, refusing to accept evidence and editing reports from scientists inside the government such as the EPA, sending morale down the tubes. More recently, President Bush has acknowledged that man has contributed to warming, but the U.S. continues to drag its feet in international negotiations and Bush has resisted mandatory emission standards.
  • Top scientific leaders in the administration have sometimes been silenced, including a top NASA climate scientist James Hansen and former Surgeon General Richard Carmona. A number of government scientists have resigned.
  • The President twice vetoed bills for stem cell research over the objections of many in the scientific community as well as Bill Frist, the cardio-surgeon who was a GOP leader in the Senate.
  • The President allowed funding for the National Science Foundation to go essentially flat and after sizable increases, also allowed a flattening of the budget for the National Institutes of Health.
  • The President did sign onto the competitiveness agenda proposed by a special commission of the national academies of science and engineering – and he helped to secure Congressional passage of legislation endorsing the agenda. But, stunningly, the Congress refused to fund it – and the President put up very little fight.
  • This November, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science publicly lambasted the administration for putting unqualified political appointees into permanent civil service jobs that make scientific policy decisions. A case in point: Todd Harding, a 30-year old with a bachelor’s degree from Kentucky’s Centre College, was named to a permanent post at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration working on space-spaced science for geostationary and meteorological data.
  • Even as some positions were filled with non-entities, the White House left vacant the post of Executive Director for the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

    Dactyl's Health

    Frankly, I don't think dactyl is in good health and I don't know what's wrong. So, if you go to see the blog one day and nothing comes back, just wait a little while.

    Dactyl is set to reboot automatically in the case of a kernel panic, but the issue we're currently having is something less than a kernel panic but something more than nothing. Cron still works when things die, so I've set a cron job to reboot the computer at noon every day. It's not ideal, but at least things will recover.

    If you, gentle reader, happen to be up at Dartmouth and have some free time in the next couple of weeks, there are some things you can do to perhaps fix the problems. It would be good if someone could actually look at dactyl's motherboard and make sure nothing is chock full of dust leading to overheating. Or, for someone supercool, you could connect a monitor to the computer and see what it actually says during a crash.

    If you want to help, let me know.


    Christmas charity

    In honor of the season, I point the blogpeople to read Peter Gammon's item on the Torii Hunter Project, which includes a new effort to give 100 kids college scholarships, among other athletic social responsibility demonstrations.  For all the negative publicity of Mark Teixeira's new 8 year/$180 million contract, it's important to remind ourselves that "yes, we can" is nothing new:
    Founding the Peace Corps


    Chick-flicks are bad for you!

    At the risk of sleeping on the couch for eternity, I feel it is my sober duty to inform the rest of blogland of this fact... something that many guys have known for years and years: romantic comedies cause nothing but strife and unhappiness. Sure they have helped millions of guys have successful movie-dates and thereby get laid, and sure they have helped millions of women overcome bad breakups while bonding with their girlfriends, but those clever Brits don't mince words.

    </perhaps unfunny gender stereotypes>


    Actually, the study is kinda interesting:

    Rom-coms have been blamed by relationship experts at Heriot Watt University for promoting unrealistic expectations when it comes to love....They found fans of films such as Runaway Bride and Notting Hill often fail to communicate with their partner. Many held the view if someone is meant to be with you, then they should know what you want without you telling them.