Gotta gather network usage stats on eth1 (that being the outside connection).
I've been assuming that, post-move, a good landline 'net connection would be essential. Certainly, Verizon's wireless 'net access is waaay too expensive for everyday use.
Looking at Exede's website (for my current location, and for a plausible destination), I find plans with decent bandwidth, but... well... at $150/month for a 30GB/month usage quota, it's a bit problematic.
But then I stumbled across an Exede reseller's site, and, in another plausible destination area, there's a $100/month plan with 150GB/month. This seems plausible.
So, I gotta keep tabs on actual household usage for the next while, and get a handle on average daily usage. Apply fudge factors up and down for various lifestyle factors, multiply by 31-ish, and I'll have a better basis for looking at Internet service plans.
And it does look like satellite might just be a viable option after all, which opens up large areas that don't yet have all the amenities.
Firstly, I need to shuffle the world-visible functions (web, mail, Subversion) onto the rented VPS, so I can be prepared to abandon the DSL line when the time comes.
Secondly, the Linux distro is stale, and no longer being updated (except for, maybe, security updates).
And, thirdly, I think the hardware is starting to go flaky. This afternoon, it suddenly stopped responding on the LAN, didn't have any output on its VGA port, and didn't even respond usefully to the reset button - I had to power-cycle the thing.
Having been power-cycled, it now seems to be running OK. Maybe it just needs the dust & cat hair cleaned out (a project for Memorial Day weekend, since I don't think I'll be making it to Baycon).
Hardware replacement, barring actual failure, is a later-this-year, post-move thing. Probably put together something that runs cooler, most likely with an internal SSD plus some sort of well-ventilated RAID box for bulk storage.
Meanwhile, I'd better make sure everything important is backed up in multiple places.
Update: It happened again. This time, I found the panic message in the system log, after opening up the machine and blowing much of the dust out, plus wiggling various connections.
NETDEV WATCHDOG: eth3 (skge): transmit queue 0 timed out
Hm. Well, eth3 is the LAN. Others have reported this error on oops.kernel.org, but that's not very informative. And... I'm finding reports going back to 2008, and decidedly old kernels. Um. I'm running a vintage kernel on that box, amn't I?
Looks like it's a known kernel bug, in an obsolete kernel which won't be fixed. But why did it manifest itself today, twice? I didn't change the kernel lately, and the hardware configuration hasn't changed in years. And the other reports don't seem to involve a total system wedgie, just loss of connectivity on the one port.
Looks like I'll be getting at least somewhat up to speed on Lua.
Aside from being, apparently, the language of choice for playing with the ESP8266 WiFi chip, it's available as a handy MIT-licensed library for embedding, and there's eLua, intended for sticking on MCUs.
Anyway... book on order. Source code downloaded. Now I just need to find a block of useful time that isn't claimed by higher-priority things like client projects.
Update: A quick build of the eLua demo for the Kinetis platform uses around 200K of flash; I don't know what optimizations were used. I need a configuration that's under 150K. May turn out to be possible.
...But the Kinetis branch is 5 years out of date, so I should probably be starting from the master anyway, and doing my own port. In My Copious Free Time.
Update 2: Got another possible use for an embeddable scripting language, but that one needs to fit in 128K, including the base application. I think that calls for a different approach, like 8K Tiny Basic or something.
Yeah, acting on it is a "much later in the year" thing, but still.
I look up the Tormach personal CNC mill line. Looks like some pretty decent hardware... for not that much more than a CNCified Wrong Foo mill/drill thingy with the ferschlugginer round column. Seriously, what's with those conversions? I once had an RF-30 or thereabouts. Made a pretty darn good drill press, but as a mill it wasn't much. Refitting one of those with ballscrews and motors is kind of like trying to make a competition pistol out of a Bryco.
Another CNCish thing I'll probably want at some point is a 4-axis hot-wire foam cutter of moderate capacity. Such things can be bought. It appears that the software requires... wait for it... a 32-bit PC with a parallel port, running Windows XP. Really?
Looks like pretty much all the DIY stepper drive units use a parallel-port interface. Seems that LinuxCNC can run on more modern hardware... but just about every supported machine interface is via parallel port.
You can still - for now! - buy a motherboard with a parallel port on it, or a PCI or even PCIE add-on board, but for how much longer?
Maybe someone (not me, this year) should work with the LinuxCNC folks to come up with a protocol for shoving step-and-timing commands over USB, with a nice big buffer (hence having timing info included with the step commands). It's getting easy to put mid-level motion control on an MCU with a USB interface, or Ethernet.
Either that, or look at porting the motion-control back end of LinuxCNC to embedded platforms with lots of GPIO lines.
Oh, well. For now, I have real work to catch up on that doesn't involve motion control.
Coming up De Anza Blvd., crossing Stevens Creek Blvd in a northerly direction: note big gray cargo plane maneuvering dramatically ahead. Hm? He's kind of low, and even if there's some sort of event at Moffett, why's he putting on a show this far afield? (Sanity check: the Collings Foundation was at Moffett... two days earlier. And I don't think they operate anything with four turbofans.)
Leave it as a puzzlement. Shortly, encounter backed-up traffic with twinkles ahead. Sheriff's department vehicles on all sides of the De Anza / Homestead intersection. No obvious indication what's going on. No particular delay getting through the intersection at that point.
So... had there been some big incident at that intersection, and maybe the cargo-plane pilot was banking for a better look at the twinkly lights on the ground?
I don't find any sort of news report about it. Like so much that goes on locally, it shall presumably remain a mystery.
Went there yesterday. Didn't manage to see all of it, what with getting tired early.
This was the first time I'd managed to take The Descendant along, and it turns out she's inherited my reaction to crowds, i.e., I'm tired and I need to get out for some fresh air and elbow room. I've managed to develop a little more tolerance for such settings, though a few hours of maneuvering through a crowd, taking irregular baby steps, leads to sore hips.
We ended up taking the 'Trop... sorry, the CalTrain... which was reasonably painless, except that the signage in the parking structure was highly non-explanatory (CalTrain permit parking only: is there some permit that commuters get? Or does it just mean that you've paid for the days parking at the vending machine?), the ticket vending machine's credit-card reader was in process of failing (I may have been the last one to get a plastic-money transaction through on the machine on the left), and the screwy UI on the vending machines that, if you select "two one-day tickets to Zone 2" and then select "pay for parking" silently cancels the tickets and only handles the parking, requiring a second transaction to go back and buy the actual tickets.
Getting into the Faire went reasonably quickly, half an hour after opening time; the line was kind of long, but moved along well.
There wasn't as much big showy outdoors stuff this year, maybe because of the weather (with thunderstorms forecast, I sure wouldn't want to be outdoors with a giant lightning rod hooked up to tanks of flammable gas).
Indoors, much of interest, though there was a lot of space devoted to kiddie crafts (NTTAWWT, but it wasn't what we'd come to see). Lots of local-ish maker spaces had booths. As usual, lots of Arduini and 3D printers. One biohacking booth, with three organizations represented (The Descendant is a bio major, so the existence of such organizations is a good thing to note). Several chip companies, some of them not exactly noted for maker-friendliness.
(Qualcomm had a booth, promoting Snapdragon processors. I poked my head in. There was a drawing for a dev board of some sort, but it seemed to be a "must be present to win" thing, which didn't fit my schedule. I figured I could check out their web site, and buy a dev board if I needed one for a project. When I got home, I checked out their web site. Happy shiny highly-dynamic marketing fluffery. References to what consumer products use their chips. No technical data on their actual chips. No budgetary pricing. No where-to-buy. Looks like Arrow carries some sort of dev board, but Arrow's search function appears to be broken, or else every Qualcomm-related keyword is kept out of it, so I don't know if they carry the chips. Which is a shame, because it looks like I might actually have an application for one of them a few months out.)
Chatted with various people, including the guy at the Cadsoft booth (yes, they had a booth there, handing out CDs and encouraging people to use the freeware version for their creative projects).
Oh, and the EMSL Quasi-Visible 6502 was on display. It suddenly occurred to me that, if this is a true and exact implementation, one could feed it the infamous Halt and Catch Fire instruction (if memory serves, that was any opcode with an even upper nybble and a lower nybble of 2), and see what internal state the processor gets into. No, I'm not going to buy one of the boards just for that... though if it fit my budget, I'd buy one just for the cool factor.
Anyway, another fun gathering, but I think today is for resting. And maybe doing some leg-stretchy exercises.
Added: We escaped without buying anything other than food for immediate consumption... but, then, we didn't venture into the big Maker Shed building, and, while the Barnes & Noble booth might have held temptations, it also held a densely-packed crowd, so we didn't get close enough to be seriously tempted.
I dd gather a pocketful of assorted paper pointing to vendors and products of interest. I left it to someone else to ask the price of the modest-sized, Tormach-branded CNC mill: around $9K. Had I been more alert (this was getting to be late in the day), I might have inquired after a fourth axis, 'cause that's one of the features I'll need on a CNC mill when I get one.
Upgrades things related to libexpat1. All fine. But...
Deletes things related to libexpat1:i386. Er. Why do I have those 32-bit libraries installed? Support for some key commercial software? Um... does EAGLE still work?
Nope. EAGLE v6 is b0rked: missing libfontconfig1:i386 (at least).
Oh, well... EAGLE v7 runs fine... as long as I don't try to print. Then it crashes, 'cause I don't have the necessary latest-and-greatest version of some library it needs for printing.
Well, if the security-fixed versions of those 32-bit libraries don't materialize soon, I'll be motivated to upgrade the whole system to Debian's latest. The laptop and lab machine are already upgraded.
And I need to switch to EAGLE v7 in a few weeks anyway. A design coming up soon is inherently hierarchical, what with having eight identical groups of four identical cells each, so... it really is time for v7.
Update: Crisis averted. Did an apt-get update a bit later, and now I can re-install the missing 32-bit libraries, so EAGLE v6 is back on the air.
Update 2: Had to re-install a bunch of the other ia32 libraries, too, to deb0rk ol' Acrobelfry. Took me a while to figure this out, because the running instance was still running, but clicking on a .pdf in the file manager had stopped working.
News item: Pfizer forbids sale of its products for use in executions.
Now, regardless of your position on lethal injection (which, personally, I regard as an abomination; if you're going to kill somebody, use a more straightforward approach and skip the pseudo-medical rigamarole), there's a serious issue here.
If you sell something, it thereafter belong to the buyer, right? You no longer have any rights to it? (Unless it's a work of art in Europe, or something.)
So how can a Big Pharma company impose post-sale restrictions on its products? I mean, next thing you know, companies with highly lucrative out-of-patent drugs would be blocking their sale to potential competitors, making bioequivalance testing impossible and keeping cheap generics off the market.
Oh, wait. They do that already, don't they? How is this legal? It violates one the the basic principles of commerce; doesn't it also violate some antitrust law? If not, why not?
(I've run across something similar with European chip vendors, and fine print in datasheets saying "not for use in weapon systems." If I design the chip into a weapon system, buy the parts from a distributor on the 'Net, build the thing, and sell it, I've, what, violated some contract I never signed? But, unlike a pharma company, the chip company doesn't have the supply chain locked down.)
Well, looky here! (As well as elsewhere around the business news, though you'll have to look, 'cause the news-aggregator "algorithms" don't seem to think it's important.)
Despite having a CEO who wears black turtlenecks and looks like a character from Doctor Who or something, ThanatosTheranos doesn't have a working product, never had any approximation of a working product, was actively taking measures to create the illusion of a working product, and in general has been operating as a scam for the past two years, if not from the get-go.
Think maybe the gazillionaire-financier social class has gotten too isolated? Like, none of these important decision makers have any techies within their monkeyspheres? Their notion of "due diligence" necessarily consists of checking that all the forms are filled out correctly, because they have no ability to do any sort of sanity-checking on the proposed technology, nor does anyone of their acquaintance?
...If they spent time hanging out with grubby technologists, they wouldn't have time to hang out with politicians.
Guess I shouldn't be too surprised; after all, we recently had a Secretary of State who not only didn't have any Russian-speaking acquaintances, but had no idea what Russian writing looks like. The ignorance and insularity of our "betters" can be truly astonishing.
Update: Now this is bugging me. I'm sure Elizabeth Holmes is a copy of a character in some sci-fi show. Maybe only in one episode. Probably working for some enemy of humanity. But I'm just not remembering which show it was. Babylon 5, maybe? Someone working for the Deep State, or Psi Corps? Or... aha! One of the Martian revolutionaries, that was it!