Archive for March, 2012

I’m so popular!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

"We must invite Naich. He's so fucking sophisiticated."

Gosh, where do I start.  There are so many people want me to join their exclusive circles.  I had a letter from the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University (or “Vicey”, as I call him), asking me – actually more like begging me to join him for a swanky reception with canapes and vino.  He used the excuse that it was for my 25 years service working at the uni, but come off it – who wouldn’t want the company of a badly dressed, slightly brain damaged electronics technician, staggering around guzzling wine and belching pastry fumes?

But even more exciting was my email invitation to join the Freemason Illuminati.  I didn’t even realise there was one until I got their mail!  They obviously like the cut of my gib and I was just thinking it was about time I heard from the shadowy evil secret rulers of the world.  If anyone would like any favours once I’ve joined the select elite, let me know.  This is what they sent.  It all seems totally legit.

Date: Sat, 17 Mar 2012 09:30:03 +1200
From: freemason illuminati <noreply@freemason.org>
Reply-To: order@illuminati.umail.net
To: yourorder@fi.org
Subject: we call

You are receiving this mail in regards of the freemason confraternity  of the
whole wide world (FCWWW).

You are moving well in what you are doing but in order to make it easier for
you, we have concluded for you to be a part of us as a member to sign your
life to us and have any thing you need.

Be it any thing in the whole wide world.

You can’t refuse us now for it’s too late.

Get back to us now for your Illuminati membership Order and also for you to
know more about the ancient ILLUMINATI FORUM and also the Orientation and
goals that we pursue.

Get back to acquire your goal now.

I can’t wait to set up some sort of super-villain style base on a Caribbean island.  I’ll need some sidekicks if anyone is interested.  You’ll have to improvise with the sinister weapons until I get set up properly.  I’ll see if I can get some sort of poisoned dart cigarette holder made up, or maybe a miniature gun in a mobile phone, but in the meantime you could use a brick in a sock to bludgeon people to death.


Cat 0 : Linux 1

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I went to do some stuff on my PC the other day to find that the cat had been sleeping with her paw on the “Print Screen” button. This button starts up a program that takes a screenshot and brings up a window asking where you want to save it.

Holding down a key keeps repeating the keypress, so as long as the key is held down it’ll keep starting up new copies of the program, again and again and again, as fast as it can.   It is the PC equivalent of sitting stationary in your car with your foot firmly pressed down on the accelerator. The cat had been sitting like that for quite a long time.  Everything had ground to a halt and the status bar was just 1 pixel wide grey stripes. There was a black box on the screen where the last “take a screenshot” window had popped up but the poor PC didn’t have enough CPU left to actually fill it with anything.

The mouse was barely moving so there was no hope of actually using it to close the windows. It was time to use Geek powers and drop to the command line. I hit CTRL-ALT-F2 and waited for a while. Several seconds later the terminal came up and although it took a few seconds for each keypress to register, after a couple of minutes I was actually able to log in. An incantation of “ps -ef |wc -l” showed there were 3,600 processes running. Each screenshot capture takes 3 processes, so there were 1,200 screenshot programs running simultaneously. I gave it some Linux magic – “killall gnome-screenshot” and everything instantly sped up. I did some more killing and everything went back to normal – in fact there were no ill effects whatsoever and the computer worked fine for the rest of the day, with no need for a reboot or anything.

Jimbo once started up 140 text editors which barely slowed the PC down and Luna couldn’t kill it with 1,200 screenshot programs. Linux – impervious to cats and kids.

Update: It’s been pointed out that I should have used “pkill” rather than “killall”.  Killalling, while relatively harmless on a Linux box – a bit like trimming a dog’s claws, is the Unix equivalent of taking it out back and shooting it in the head with a rocket propelled grenade.