Computer HW - Berkeley CSUA MOTD
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Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2022/01/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2011/11/16-12/28 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA, Computer/HW] UID:54230 Activity:nil
11/16   We'll be taking all CSUA machines offline in the near future for a Soda
        Hall server room reorganization (we're being moved to a neighboring
        server cabinet).  Downtime will hopefully be minimal.  --jordan
        \_ Thanks for all your work keeping the machines running!  It's
           been awesome having soda actually working again.
        \_ Update:  this is tentatively scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
        \_ Update II:  done!
           \_ Glad to be of service.  --jordan
           \_ Ditto. -ausman
2022/01/17 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2010/5/6-7 [Computer/HW, Computer/SW] UID:53819 Activity:nil 51%like:53821
5/6     Syzygryd Salon at GAFFTA on Friday, May 14th:
        It's a great opportunity to learn more about the project, and a chance
        to play with some of the hardware and software we'll be demoing.
2010/3/24-4/14 [Computer/HW] UID:53760 Activity:nil
3/24    Soda is not allowed to connect to agae for Usenet. Which server
        should we use?
        \_ The campus no longer runs a Usenet server.  For class newsgroups,
           use news.csua (aka <DEAD><DEAD>); for others, there's a good
           list of public servers at  --mconst
2010/2/22-3/12 [Computer/HW] UID:53723 Activity:nil
2/20    There was a failure validating the SSL/TLS certificate for the server
        The reason for the failure was
                          self signed certificate in certificate chain (details)
        We have not verified the identity of your server. If you ignore this certificate validation
        problem and continue, you could end up connecting to an imposter server.
        If the certificate validation failure was expected and permanent you may avoid seeing this
        warning message in the future by adding the option
        to the name of the folder you attempted to access. In other words, where\
ver you see the characters
        in your configuration, replace those characters with
        Is anyone else getting this error trying to send email?
        \_ motd format policy was here.
        \_ using pine?
2010/1/23-25 [Science/Disaster, Computer/SW/Security, Computer/HW] UID:53658 Activity:low
1/22    Tornado at Brentwood!
        \_ oh noes a widdle weather.
        \_ yawn
2009/12/7-2010/1/3 [Computer/HW/Memory, Computer/HW] UID:53574 Activity:nil
12/7    How many TCP retransmits are too many? Here is what I get:
            3594143433 segments received
            3760174421 segments send out
            3801829561 segments retransmited
        \_ rephrase. you can never have too much money. or too little.
           what is, is.
           \_ You always get a few, but I have a bunch of squid servers that
              I just noticed have 500/second, which seems really high to me.
              They do about 20MB/sec at peak so this is a retransmit every
              40K? This is kind of hard to believe, because they are working
              More details have been requested so here they are:
              Each server has apache and squid installed and serves about 10M
              requests/day out of memory in 5ms or less. They are configured
              as memory only squid servers. They are middle tier caching
              servers, sitting between an application layer and an API.
              They have 1Gb/sec uplinks to shared switches, which each have
              1 Gb uplinks to the core routers. No other servers on the
              switches are showing this behaviour and the switches themselves
              are not overloaded. Further investigation shows that 99% of
              the connections on the servers are sitting in TIME_WAIT, which
              I actually think is the cause of these retrans. I am still trying
              to figure out who is rudely dropping all their connections to
              these servers, but it is hard, since all traffic is through a load
              balancer (NetScaler).
2009/11/24-12/6 [Computer/HW] UID:53542 Activity:low
11/24   What is the best 25-32" monitor out there? I am ready to upgrade
        my 9 year old CRT. -ausman
        \_ How much money are you willing to spend, and how good do you
           really need it to be good? Are you willing to pay $900 for the
           industry standard monitor used by graphics artists, or are you
           so cheap that you'll only want to pay up $400 for something that
           is good enough for coding and checking email? $900 or $400?
           I've uploaded an Apple LED Cinema Display 24" vs. Dell Ultrasharp
           2408WFP, pixel-to-pixel comparisons for you monitor pixel peepers
           out there. Does it mean anything? If you're not a pixel peeper, no.
           \_ I spent $1k on my last one and will probably spend about that
              this time. I might spend more if I really thought it was worth
              it, but not $15k. If I can get really good quality for less,
              I would be happy to spend less, but I doubt that is true.
              I like to buy good things and then use them for a long time. -a
        \_ "Best" is subjective.  And sorry, I have no recommendation in
           the 25-32" range.  For 24.1", Eizo CG243W.
           \_ $2200 eh? Do you have one? Is it worth it?
              \_ I have a really old L565 and somewhat outdated S2410W
                 (paid around $1700).  Zero complaints about L565.  S2410W
                 uses Samsung's PVA panel, and I'm not quite satisfied with
                 it.  CG243W uses the latest NEC IPS panel.  If it had RGB
                 back-light, I'd pay $3000 for one.  As is, I'm just very
           \_ Self correction.  Apparently, even CG243W uses LG panel. Where
              has all the high-end gone....  Also, the new SX2462W appears to
              use the same IPS panel, at much cheaper price, but without
              hardware calibration and some other really high-end features.
              That might be a reasonably good buy.  I'm just going to wait it
              out until there's a no-compromise (to me anyway) model.
           \_ Additional information.  Looks like CG232W is the one using NEC
              panel.  It's actually smaller (22.5") but has the same resolution.
              \_ CG232W has a $15k price tag. That is too much for me.
        \_ I hate to sound like an Apple fanboi but when I tried out
           the 24" Apple LED Cinema Display, I was completely sold.
           Stay away from Dell Ultrasharp 24" unless price is an issue.
           Check out user reviews.
           \_ Curious why?  I have a Dell Ultrasharp 24" and it has been a great
              solid monitor, used for over 2 years now.  -ERic
              \_ It's a perfectly fine monitor for its price. It has MORE
                 features than the Apple Cinema display, by leaps and bounds
                 AND you can buy several Dells for the price of one Cinema
                 Display. Spec-wise, it is brighter, more contrast, yadda
                 yadda yadda. However, not everything is about features.
                 There's a reason why most graphic artists still prefer the
                 Mac-- better rendition of colors, and the color-balance
                 is simply calibrated very well. I wrote a review on
                 Amazon about this, and it used to be on the top review
                 (10/11 people thought it was useful). I just went back and
                 found out my review is now shifted to the bottom, WTF! They
                 also took out a near microscopic comparison of
                 pixels which I uploaded without giving me any warning!
                 FU Amazon. Anyways here it is:
              \_ We have a bunch of 24" Dell Ultrasharps at work and some
                 have failed, but they were replaced under warranty. They
                 look fine when they are working. The Dell 20" and 30"
                 seem more reliable. If money was no object I'd go with Apple.
        \_ 24" is fine, too. -ausman
        \_ I am going to get the Apple 24" thanks for all your advice. -ausman
2009/1/2-8 [Computer/HW, Computer/HW/Drives] UID:52310 Activity:low
12/31   SOMEONE PLEASE FIX KEG!  Why does it keep crashing?
        \_ It's hard to tell. The risk of crashing seems to increase with
           disk activity, or so it seems, but debugging the kernel doesn't
           seem to yield much info. Email root for detailed info; I don't
           have a deep understanding of the problem --t
           \_ How about a backup LDAP server? I don't need files as much
              as access.
              \_ We do (did?) have a backup LDAP server. I think that it's also
                 suffering from old failing hardware, but again, root
                 (particularly Steven) hould have accurate-up-to-date info. The
                 new server won't arrive for a little while yet, and it's only
                 one server to replace several servers that have been failing in
                 recent times.
                 one server to replace several servers that have been failing
                 in recent times.
                 \_ Where do we send money to again? -ausman
                    \_ A check made out to the CSUA and mailed to 337 Soda
                       Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720 or PayPal to
              are the preferred methods.
              \_ Okay, I got some details on server roles, for reference.
                 soda: login, www, mysql
                 scotch: DNS
                 vermouth: mail, primary LDAP
                 keg: NFS, secondary LDAP, backups
                 screwdriver: linux mirror, mysql
                 lifesaver (now dead): LDAP, backups
                 Screwdriver and scotch don't mount NFS, so generally are the
                 only computers to survive a keg failure. --t
              \_ New hardware is on the way!  ETA 1 wk or so
                 Then give us a week to set it up and whatnot
2008/12/5-10 [Computer/HW] UID:52180 Activity:nil
12/5    Does anyone know of a cheap IR detector that can be hooked up to a
        windows PC and set to send keystrokes to specific apps?  I've cobbled
        together a simple media PC and would like simple pause, rewind, etc.
        \_ A quick google search for "usb ir sensor" uncovers this:
2008/10/16-17 [Computer/Networking, Computer/HW] UID:51550 Activity:nil
10/15   Has anyone else used dnsmasq for DHCP and PXE booting?  Have you found
        a way to specify the 'next-server' option with dnsmasq?
        conventional DHCP daemons let me specify 'next-server', I can't
        figure out how to do it with dnsmasq.  Thanks - danh
2008/9/5-12 [Computer/HW] UID:51070 Activity:nil
9/5i    Anyone reccomend a good place to look for replacement cover parts for a\
        dell inspiron 8200 ? The dell site is useless for determining what parts\
        to order since there are no pictures
        \_ ebay?  Look at at the manuals -- most likely the service manual.  Late to the party.  Hope this doens't get deleted.
2008/7/23-28 [Computer/HW] UID:50667 Activity:nil
7/23    Translate server error:
2007/11/13-16 [Computer/HW, Computer/HW/Drives] UID:48631 Activity:nil
11/12   What is diff between SAN and NAS?
         \_ NAS=Network Attached Storage.  Appliance which provides disk
             to servers/clients via file-based protocols (NFS, CIFS, iSCSI).
            SAN=Storage Area Netwoork.  Provides direct fiber connections from
             multiple servers to a single storage array.  -tom
            \_ Here is another way to explain It: They're very similar in that
               they are both technologies to have storage separate from the
               server. However with NAS, the storage protocols run over the
               server's normal network interfaces.  With SAN they go over
               special 'dedicated' storage-only connections, typically fiber.
               Furthermore, SAN uses a different storage-optimized protocol,
               whereas NAS typically operates over general network protocols
               such as IP. -ERic
2007/10/17-18 [Computer/HW] UID:48347 Activity:kinda low
10/17   mail server is broken?
        \_ soda: yes.  use a real mail server.
2007/8/22-23 [Computer/HW] UID:47708 Activity:low
8/22    my server rack is out of control
        \_ "Free PORN at <DEAD>"<DEAD>  WTF?
2007/8/22 [Computer/HW] UID:47702 Activity:nil
8/22    my rack.  still huge.
        \_ Are you referring to your boobs or your penis?
           \_ How vulgar!  Server rack, of course!
2007/8/21-22 [Computer/HW] UID:47692 Activity:nil
8/21    My giant rack is feeling pretty huge this morning.
        \_ Are you male or female?
        \_ Salma Hayek needs to give birth soon or she's going to
           \_ Hers were big even before pregnancy.
2007/8/10-12 [Computer/HW] UID:47584 Activity:low
8/10    I want to get off of Dell's postal catalog mailing list.
        How do I do this?  Thanks.
        \_ Found this from
           \_ That was awesome.  Thanks.
2007/6/6-10 [Academia/Berkeley/HKN, Computer/HW] UID:46862 Activity:low
6/5     I live in Berkeley and need to get rid of an old obsolete PC and
        a monitor (from previous century). Is there an electronics recycling
        facility nearby?
        \_  They'll even come pick it up for free.  --mconst
                \_ what he said.  no recycling fee!   -brain
        \_ could try East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse
        \_ Berkeley Marina Pier
           \_ Pig!  You could accidentally splash an alternative housing
              person that way.
              \_ I prefer to call them "Urban Campers"
        \_ How about Used Computers on Shattuck?
           \_ pft.  Don't do business with them.
        \_ Berkeley Neighborhood Computers (BNC), they give these
           machines to needy families. If you're still around campus
           talk to any of the Tau Beta Pi or HKN officers, as they
           often volunteer with them.
           \_ I never heard of them, so decided to google them.  Looks like
              they might have combined with ACCRC.  This is the most recent
              news I can find of them:
2007/5/31-6/3 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA, Computer/HW] UID:46805 Activity:nil
5/31    I'm trying to set up Thunderbird to read my soda mail.  Does the soda
        mail incoming server use POP or IMAP?  And what are the incoming and
        outgoing server names?  Thanks.
        \_ I think you're going to want to use mead.csua for both incoming
           and outgoing.  I am almost positive we don't have unsecured pop,
           though we should have IMAP working.  Good luck.
2007/5/24-28 [Computer/SW, Computer/HW] UID:46739 Activity:low
5/23    Streetline Networks is hiring: /csua/pub/jobs/streetline
        We deploy our sensors on mesh networks to assist cities in
        analyzing and improving their parking situations.  We do
        everything from low-level hardware design to websites for
        data presentaton.  Check out the file above and our website:
        -- peterl
        \_ Did you know Noah?
           \_ Decent bagels.
             \_ No, this guy used to work at Dust.
                \_ What's his last name?
                 \_ Treuhaft
        \_ Do you know bill?
2007/2/22-26 [Computer/HW] UID:45793 Activity:nil
2/22    Oh great Root, is IMAP server still down?  How are people d/ling
        their emails nowadays?  Or has the mail server settings changed?
2007/2/20-23 [Science/GlobalWarming, Computer/HW] UID:45776 Activity:nil
2/20    Second Life is truly retarded:
        The coverage was less than complete, however. For example, there was
        scant mention of Linden Lab's scaling issues. Second Life's servers -
        which are hosted exclusively by Linden Lab - can only support between
        50 and 100 avatars in one place at one time. Newsnight's party crashed
        after only 30 "guests" arrived. Melbourne's The Age reported Ben Folds
        launching an album before an "in world" audience of 25.
        \_ I suspect the motd has exactly 1 Second Life subscriber.
2006/12/18-23 [Computer/HW] UID:45467 Activity:moderate
12/17   Sun hardware question.  I have a machine that has two graphics
        cards.  When it boots up, the boot messages appear on one display,
        but when dtlogin runs the Xserver, it appears on the other display.
        Any idea how to get it all to appear on one display?
        \_ Try configuring it to explicitly start the dtlogin on :0.0 or :0.1
           and see which works.
           \_ How do you do that?
             \_ Take a look at /etc/dt/config/Xservers. -ERic
                \- the boot messages are controled by the eeprom output-device
                   pointer [probaby ... dep on version of OBP]. the issue
                   may be where you frame buffer /dev/fb points to rather
                   than the display used. hard to guess without looking
                   at your system etc. --psb
2006/10/20-24 [Computer/HW, Computer/SW/Unix/WindowManager] UID:44890 Activity:nil
10/20   My Gnome Desktop makes lots of noises at me.  I rarely know where
        they are coming from (filtered mail I don't see maybe?).  Is there
        some (way to set up a) sound log that I can check to see which app
        fired off which sound file at time X, or anything like that ?
2006/10/5-7 [Transportation/Car/RoadHogs, Computer/HW] UID:44688 Activity:nil
10/5    Next Saturn Vue may have builtin bike rack:
2006/9/1-3 [Computer/Networking, Computer/HW] UID:44235 Activity:nil
9/1     I want to add a quick and dirty alias for a server on my local machine.
        So instead of using some-really-long-host-name, I want to use srlhn:
        scp me@srlhn:foo
        But if I put that into /etc/hosts, it requires an IP address, and this
        server may be changing its IP address from time to time.  I'm not
        running DNS.  Any suggestions?
                -- tcsh user suffering from RSI
                \_ read the ssh config man page,
                        just edit your personal ssh settings in

                        Host srlhn
                         HostName some-really-long-host-name
                  \_ my fingers and I thank you.
2006/8/24-25 [Computer/HW] UID:44132 Activity:high
8/24    Server naming schemes for the 21st Century:
        \_ A coworker used ex-gf names.
           \_ "We need a new server provisioned"
              "Damn it, and I really liked my current gf, too..."
        \_ Name of room, type of computer, and main use of server, separated
           by underscores?
           \_ How psychotically lame can you get..
              \_ Yeah, imagine how totally lame it would be if IT people
                 valued usefullnes above cuteness.  What a fucking concept.
           \_ kitchen_uwave_pr0n
              \_ kitchen pr0n??  Oh HELL yes!  BRING IT ON!
                 \_ let's just say rotating food won't be the only display
                    option on your microwave anymore
           \_ That's what cnames are for.  (Prefer Culture ship names, myself)
        \_ racial slurs
           \_ how many are there in English?

              nm wikipedia is way ahead of me:
        \_ terrorist organizations
        \_ guilty celebrities who beat the rap
           \- Nick Byram and I came up with Lebanese Factions as an
              OCF Nomenclature Proposal ... we might have been slightly
              short of 20.
        \_ guilty celebrities who beat the rapa
        \_ guilty celebrities who beat the rap
           \_ Go Juice!
        \_ Planet names.  If you have nine servers, sorry, one of them will no
           longer be supported after the next scheduled Automatic Update.
           \_ That's no...oh.
           \_ You can just supplement with fictional planet names. Coruscant
        \_ Mountains (tame, management-compatible), drinks, porn stars,
           countries (tame, MC), elements (t, MC), drugs, common words
           off urbandictionary, something vaguely logical (OS, function,
           location code)  -John
                    \- the best names are sort of sui generis. like
                       kim and ernie in old berkeley days. i also thought
                       the central-sparc, gg-sparc names were clever ...
                       my old machine was jurassic-sparc.
                       for the youth: EECS really did have a p0rn star
                       name scheme a while ago. the most bizarre nameing
                       name scheme a while ago. the most bizarre naming
                       scheme i can think of was Cimarron's "system calls
                       common to SysV and BSD" nomenclature. --psb
                       \_ We have a demo server that used to crash much too
                          often.  It's named demolition.
                          \- not
           \_ Yeah the most logical is boring old sequentially-numbered
              codes involving machine location and type. My company scrapped
              our old "fun" names (the Linux boxes were all something to do
              with cold/winter/penguins, the Suns were things involving
              suns/stars/hot, although we also had fish like halibut, not sure
              what that referenced. But with blade servers they wanted the name
              to tell the location. They are incompetent anyway though.
              \_ The problem with the location in the name is what happens
                 when it moves? I cannot stand names like: sparc34_b202_eng24
        \_ Four-letter words.
           \_ Four-letter dirty words for body parts: cunt, dick, cock, boob.
              What else?
        \_ My first company used element names, and they let the engineers pick
           the elements.  So people usually pick names or symbols that were
           close to their names.
        \_ server location / OS / function and a number.  For sites with
           zillions of non-unique systems.  E.g   sfouxsvr00123
           \_ use DNS delegation properly.
              \_ A "good" naming scheme will use this AND have loc codes
                 in the hostname, so it's also visible in NIS and ADS.  Most
                 sensible name setups use a combination of "logical" names
                 and CNAMEs.  -John
        \_ I kind of like D&D monster names. Lots there to choose from.
        \_ Famous drag queens and transvestites.
        \_ Sci-Fi character names. I still have fond memories of an
           Indigo 2 named jadzia and my dual headed ss10 named zaphod.
           Nobel laureates and fields medalists work too, but they are
           not as much fun.
        \_ For a group of Sun boxes, members of Sun Ra's Arkestra.
        \_ Our sysadmins are currently running though old video game-related
           names for our servers.  My favorite is CongoBongo.
        \_ I tend to name my home machines after Japanese monsters.  Gamera,
           Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, etc.
        \_ Vegetables
           \_ % finger -m dquayle@potatoe
              finger: unknown host: potatoe
2006/8/14-17 [Computer/HW, Computer/HW/Display] UID:44001 Activity:low
8/14    This is a fun little app. For someone spending too many hours in front
        of his PC, at least I can watch the day pass over the globe on my
        desktop. Ah, I see dawn approaches the Roman empire...
        Oh and it looks pretty nice across two monitors.
        \_ It's too bad it's just random clouds instead of real-time satellite
           imgs so we can see Iraq/Lebanon burning
           \_ Well, there is a real-time cloud update feature based on weather
              satellite images. right click on the tray icon. But the default
              server in the list is some kind of distribution network that
              seems hosed. And I can't seem to force it to get a new image.
              So maybe try a different server first and test it in a browser.
              Ok nm I fooled it by changing the date. But it's from weather
              satellites... so it looks like the weatherman's stuff on TV.
           \_ How can we sleep while Leba-non's burnin'?
        \_ My battery's rated 60 months although I have to honestly say that
           I've never reached 60 months in the past 4 battery changes I've
           done in my life. I usually run them down, which is usually after
           3-4 years, call AAA when I need a jumpstart, and get a new one.
           \_ Isn't there a unix-y version of this?  i forget the name.
              \_ xearth
                 \_ Does that do satellite pics?  -John
                    \_ Could something like this be done with Google Earth?
                    \_ Nope.  There was one for X that had nicer graphics
                       called xglobe.
                       \_ Thanks, I remember xglobe.  Any ideas if there's
                          anything MacOS-native like this so I don't need to
                          run an xserver just for my screen background?  -John
                          \_ maybe try this -op
                             or this ($)
                             \_ Very cool thanks!  -John
        \_ Update: this is still cool. And the cloud data is another level of
           interestingness. (I can watch weather patterns developing. Right
           now there are interesting storms off the coast of Japan. Damn I
           wish I was running this when Katrina hit)
2006/6/21-26 [Computer/HW, Computer/HW/Laptop] UID:43452 Activity:nil
6/21    Dell notebook explodes at conference meeting in Japan
        \_ Dude!! Get a Dell!
           \_ Get a Dell, lose a ball
2006/6/15-17 [Computer/HW] UID:43404 Activity:nil
6/15    In YM, AIM, G Chat, and other programs... are they smart enough to
        do point-to-point, intranet to intranet communication when they are
        close (same subnet, domain, etc) to each other? Or do they all go
        to a centralized server?
        \_ It all goes to Mother Brain Chat Server Central.
           If you are concerned about this, either install your own
           local jabber server, or investigate
           Off The Record messaging (OTR).  There are plugins
           for Gaim and probably other stuff too.
           \_ I'm a sysadmin and an engineer, and I've yet to find a Jabber
              server for *nix that I can figure out how to install _and_ get
              working with more than one client.  What am I missing here?
              \_ I have this working in Debian:
                 I have seen it work with Psi and Gaim on unix and
                 windows. - danh
        \_ yahoo seems to default to trying to connect locally on the same
           subnet -- or at least that's what I can make out of the strange
           connections to my co-workers
2006/4/24-25 [Computer/HW] UID:42819 Activity:nil
4/24    Cal attire shown a few times in this trailer.
2006/4/24-25 [Computer/SW/Mail, Computer/HW] UID:42817 Activity:nil
4/23    Soda problem: I don't seem to be able to post to newsgroups
        with trn.  I get:
        cat: /var/lib/news/whoami: No such file or directory
        (re-entering cbreak mode)
        inews: From header: address syntax error
        \_ On a side note, can someone install tin?
           \_ Whoever installed tin, thank you!!
              \_ Hmm.. tin says none of my newsgroups exist on the server.
                 \_ try "tin -r" and make sure you have the correct remote
                    server "" in your setenv.
2006/3/7-8 [Computer/HW, Computer/Domains] UID:42120 Activity:low
3/6     I would like to get a virtual phone number to use for
        forwarding calls to different locations at different times.  I
        don't want a toll-free number, because I don't want to be
        charged when people call me. Any suggestions for companies
        that offer this?
        \_ how about a SkypeIn number?  Combine with SkypeOut, you can
           forward the phone call anywere in the world.
        \_ If you're feeling adventurous you can set up an Asterix box (there
           are Asterix images for WRAP and Soekris if you want an "appliance")
           and register an international number.  I forget where to do this,
           but there are a number of organizations that will let you have a
           number, for free and for charge.  Or Vonage does something similar
           if you want commercial + SIP, although I'm informed quality is
           crap (never tried it.)  If you're interested in setting up your
           own SIP gateway, several colleagues of mine have done so and are
           calling everywhere pretty much for free; I'd be glad to put you
           in touch with them.  Don't know about toll-free, though.  -John
2006/2/12-15 [Recreation/Interesting, Computer/HW] UID:41808 Activity:nil Cat_by:auto
2/12    Multitouch interactive display:
2005/12/20 [Academia/Berkeley/CSUA, Computer/HW] UID:41095 Activity:moderate
12/20   Is soda connected to an ntp server? The clock is about 25 seconds
        \_ Thanks for pointing this out.  It turned out our old /etc/rc.conf
           didn't specify the full path to ntpd, and so the new FreeBSD rc
           files were refusing to start it.  It should be working now.  You
           can run "ntpq -p" to see which NTP servers (if any) soda is
           connected to, and how far off our time is from theirs -- please
           let me know if you ever notice it's not working.  --mconst
        \_ I just checked, and ntpd wasn't running; I've restarted it.
           You can run "ntpq -p" to see which NTP servers (if any) soda
           is connected to, and how far off it is from their time.  --mconst
        \_ Actually, soda's clock looks fine. Maybe it's you.
           \_ It's fine now, but was slow earlier. You'll have to take my
              word for it.
2005/12/17-19 [Computer/HW] UID:41060 Activity:nil
12/17   Lightsaber Choreography Competition:
        \_ i think the winner still isn't as cool as 'art of the saber'
2005/12/7-9 [Computer/HW, Computer/SW/OS] UID:40910 Activity:nil
12/7    I'm using Gallery 1.x right now for my online photo album,
        and I'm wondering whether I should upgrade to 2.x. Is
        anyone using 2, and is it worth the upgrade? Thanks.
2005/11/11-12 [Computer/SW, Computer/HW, Computer/Companies/Google] UID:40540 Activity:nil
11/10   "In Soviet Russia..."
        Quick notes about Soviet computer industry from a lecture --
        thought someone might be interested.  -- misha.
        \_ NGMD = Nakopitel' na Gibkix Magnitnyx Diskax
           NMD  = Nakopitelyakh Magnitnikh Diskov
           NZMD = Nakopitelyah na Zhestkix Magnitnyx Diskov
           Cool notes.  Thanks.  If you're into E. block useful appliations,
           google for POLY PLAY.  -John
2005/11/2-4 [Computer/SW/Mail, Computer/HW, Computer/SW/Editors/Emacs] UID:40406 Activity:nil
11/2    Does anyone still use VM (Vmail) in Emacs?  I reluctantly switched to
        Outlook 4 yrs ago when I switched job, and I haven't used VM since
        \_ Used it until ~1 year ago. It unfortunately hasn't been updated
           for several years. It's really solid for what it does, but it
           doesn't do IMAP. I switched to the similar "Wanderlust" which
           does support IMAP and haven't looked back.
           \_ In the VM 7.19 from there is an
              vm-imap.el dated 5/30/2003.
              \_ VM's IMAP support is marginal. You can pretty much use it
                 like POP to fetch mail, but you can't do things like
                 disconnected operation etc. ... if you need to use it just
                 like POP because your server only supports IMAP not POP,
                 it's fine, but if you need to do server synching, marks,
                 disconnected operation, etc., VM is not your bag. -pp
2005/8/19 [Computer/HW] UID:39178 Activity:nil
8/18    Hey Ilyas.  Re: Intelligent Design.  Please prove that P(C)<0.5.  For
        extra credit prove P(C) << 0.5.
2005/8/10-13 [Computer/HW] UID:39084 Activity:kinda low
8/10    The thread below has digressed into wikipedia ramblings, so I'll ask
        here.  I read the essay "Intelligent Design: The Scientific Alternative
        to Evolution"
        (found here:
        this weekend trying to figure out what ID proponents are actually
        saying.  From reading this I found that the authors were making
        strawman arguments against evolution and didn't appear to understand
        physical science or probability.  Have you read this essay?  Do any ID
        proponents ever address the weak anthropic principle?  Is the 10^-150
        probability the number they use in general to show something as
        unreasonably improbable? -emarkp
        \_ Math is hard. Big numbers are scary. Someone must have done it.
        \_ I don't understand what the weak anthropic principle is supposed to
           explain.  I think 'cosmological constant tuning' needs an answer.
           On a somewhat related note, I read an article somewhere that some
           experimental data shows that possibly some constants aren't really
           constant, and change somewhat as time passes.  -- ilyas
           \_ In that essay I mentioned (in the section "The Fine Tuning of the
              Universe") the authors say: "The force of gravity, the mass of
              the electron, the charge of the proton, etc. are specific, real
              values. Were they even slightly different from what they are, not
              only would life not exist, nothing (of any significance) would
              exist."  They argue that this specifically suggests design.  But
              the weak anthropic principle is that if the universe weren't
              tuned to life, then we wouldn't be here to observe it.  This
              directly contradicts their assertion--they should at least
              address it.  The fact that they don't even mention it is
              suspicious at best. -emarkp
              \_ It is a counterfactual assertion that does not render the
                 current state of affairs any less puzzling.  Sure, if constants
                 were different nobody would be there to comment.  But someone
                 IS there to comment, and constants ARE the way they are.
                   -- ilyas
                 current state of affairs any less puzzling.  Sure, if
                 constants were different nobody would be there to comment.
                 But someone IS there to comment, and constants ARE the way
                 they are. -- ilyas
                 \_ The point is there is a selecting event (i.e. our
                    existence) which makes those constants unremarkable.  If
                    we were to observe a universe at random and the constants
                    were amenable to life, that might be something.  But our
                    universe isn't a random one.  It had to have those
                    constants. -emarkp
                    \_ What you said is exactly right.  Our universe doesn't
                       seem to be a random one.
                    \_ Let's imagine a lottery winner pondering what events
                       lead to his winning ticket.  He might say: 'well given
                       that I _did_ win, the particles in the Universe must
                       have danced just right so I had to have won.  So the
                       fact that I won (at odds of millions to one) is wholly
                       unremarkable.'  Really, the real reason it's not
                       remarkable is because millions of people played, so
                       someone had to have won.  In other words, lots of
                       Universes makes our constant unremarkable.  Our
                       existence does not. -- ilyas
                               \_ But should the lottery winner conclude that
                                  someone chose him to be the winner? -emarkp
                                  \_ He shouldn't he if knows lots of people
                                     played (parallel Universes).  Except in
                                     our case, it's unclear whether it's
                                     cheaper to assume lots of players or
                                     a benign lottery agency.  I think this
                                     is best taken 'offline.' -- ilyas
                                     \_ Then your analogy falls on its face.
                                        An unlikely event occurs (Bob wins the
                                        lottery).  It doesn't follow that Bob
                                        was chosen by a designer. -emarkp
                                        \_ No, it doesn't follow.  I wasn't
                                           saying it does.  As I said,
                                           Bob knows lots of people play the
                                           lottery.  We don't know whether
                                           lots of people play or whether
                                           someone just decided to give us
                                           the ticket.  Not only do we not
                                           know, we don't even know whether
                                           it's more _likely_ lots of people
                                           play, or whether someone gave us
                                           a winning ticket.  That's the point,
                                           we have less information than Bob
                                           about our situation.  But, just as
                                           in Bob's situation, the anthropic
                                           principle doesn't explain anything,
                                           something else does.  My point is,
                                           despite the fact our state of
                                           knowledge is different from Bob's
                                           the two situations are exactly the
                                           same, and in Bob's situation, nobody
                                           invokes the anthropic principle.
                                           So we shouldn't invoke it in our
                                           case either, because our state of
                                           belief shouldn't matter as far as
                                           explanations are concerned. -- ilyas
                                           \_ (1) It's "an"thropic.
                                              (2) It's not invoked to explain
                                              anything.  It's invoked to show
                                              that the reasoning that
                                              Life=>special is specious.
                                              \_ Anyways, what is your answer
                                                 to the following:
                                                 P(C=true,L=true) is low, yet
                                                 C=true and L=true.  Are you
                                                 claiming the above probability
                                                 isn't low?  If so, why?  I
                                                 claim it is low on
                                                 'maximum entropy' grounds.
                                                 Notice how the anthropic
                                                 principle cannot be used to
                                                 answer this question, although
                                                 it is essentially the same:
                                                 life + constants -> special.
                                                   -- ilyas
                                                 \_ I know I'm going to regret
                                                    getting back into this,
                                                    but if P(C) is the
                                                    probability that the
                                                    laws of physics create
                                                    a universe conducive to
                                                    the rise of intelligent
                                                    life, C=>L.  -tom
                                                    \_ No, P(C) is the
                                                       probability the constants
                                                       assume the values they do
                                                       in our Universe. -- ilyas
                                                       probability the
                                                       constants assume the
                                                       values they do in our
                                                       Universe. -- ilyas
                                                       \_ Same conclusion:
                                                          C=>L. -tom
                                                          \_ I mean what you say
                                                             is true, but I
                                                             don't see how this
                                                             observation helps.
                                                             You can conclude
                                                             that P(C) <= P(L),
                                                             but how does this
                                                             address the
                                                             question about
                                                             P(C,L)? -- ilyas
                                                          \_ I mean what you
                                                             say is true,
                                                             but I don't see
                                                             how this
                                                             helps. You can
                                                             conclude that
                                                             P(C) <= P(L),
                                                             but how does
                                                             this address
                                                             the question
                                                             about P(C,L)?
                                                             -- ilyas
                                                             \_ The question
                                                                about P(C,L)
                                                                is not
                                                                since life will
                                                                arise if the
                                                                exist for it.
                                                                The only
                                                                part is
                                                                P(C).  -tom
                                        Just because C implies L does not mean
                                        P(C) fully determines P(C,L).  For that
                                        to happen you would need C iff L.
                                        I don't understand why event implication
                                        means questions about the joint
                                        distribution are not 'meaningful.'
                                        They seem perfectly meaningful (and
                                        puzzling) to me. -- ilyas

                                        to happen you would need C iff L. I
                                        don't understand why event
                                        implication means questions about
                                        the joint distribution are not
                                        'meaningful.' They seem perfectly
                                        meaningful (and puzzling) to me.
                                        -- ilyas
                                        \_ I was right; I regret getting back
                                           into it.  -tom
                                           \_ Go pee somewhere else then.
                       \_ Non sequitur.  We know precisely nothing about any
                          other universes.  If you can point to another
                          universe that we can observe that has the same (or
                          similar) constants, that would say something.  Since
                          we can't (yet? ever?) observe other universes, we
                          can't evaluate how random this one is. -emarkp
                          \_ Let L be an event 'life exists.'  Let C be an
                             an event 'cosmological constants have the values
                             they hold in our Universe.'  Your claim: P(C|L)
                             is high.  My claim: P(C) is low.  That P(C|L) is
                             high does not explain why C is true, though P(C)
                             is low.  P(C|L) is high just because of the way
                             conditional probability works.  To put it another
                             way, you have to explain why L is true, even
                             though P(C,L=true) is low.  Or if you like, you
                             can marginalize out C, and reasonably claim
                             P(L=true) is also low.  Or to put it yet another
                             way, you are offering features of the distribution
                             P as an explanation for why we have P and not
                             some other distribution P*.  Naturally, that
                             kind of argument doesn't make sense. -- ilyas
                             P(L=true) is also low.  That's an entirely
                             symmetric question, and an entirely symmetric
                             argument would be 'life exists because our
                             cosmological constants are the way they are.'
                             At this point, the argument becomes circular, and
                             I can ask a question about the joint event:
                             i.e. why is C=true and L=true, though
                             P(C=true,L=true) is low.  Saying 'it's true
                             because it happened' isn't answering anything.
                               -- ilyas
                             \_ No, I don't "have to explain why L is true".
                                ID says P(C) is low, thus we were designed.
                                But that doesn't follow.  All we know is that
                                P(C|L) is nonzero, and that P(~C|L) = 0.
                                Also, we don't actually know that P(C) is low
                                in the first place.  -emarkp
                                \_ So you are saying that the joint probability
                                   of the constants being what they are, and
                                   life existing is high?  How do you figure
                                   that? -- ilyas
                                   \_ No, I'm saying that P(~C|L) appears to be
                                      low (I think my statement that it =0 may
                                      too strong) and that P(C|L) is nonzero.
                                      Everything else is being pulled out of
                                      someone's rear end. -emarkp
                                      \_ Well, you are right that I am making
                                         an assumption that P(C,L) is
                                         reasonably uniform, but this is a
                                         common assumption in science
                                         (see 'maximum entropy').  The anthropic
                                         principle doesn't answer the 'joint
                                         event question.'  If you make the
                                         argument that P(C,L) isn't low then
                                         you have to explain why maximum
                                         entropy isn't an appropriate assumption
                                         to make. -- ilyas
                                         (see 'maximum entropy').  The
                                         anthropic principle doesn't answer
                                         the 'joint event question.'  If you
                                         make the argument that P(C,L) isn't
                                         low then you have to explain why
                                         maximum entropy isn't an
                                         appropriate assumption to make.
                                         -- ilyas
                                         \_ Dear lord...I actually find this
                                            conversation interesting.  I
                                            think I'd better lie down until
                                            it goes away.    -mice
                                \_ (1) Do we know that P(~C|L) = 0? If either
                                                       \_ I already retracted
                                                          the claim. -emarkp
                                                          \_ sorry, just
                                                             saw that.
                                       the fundamental constants change over
                                       time (some evid that they might) or
                                       changes in one could be offset by
                                       changes in another (perhaps yet
                                       unknown constant - there is still
                                       that pesky problem of dark matter and
                                       dark energy) then P(~C|L) may not
                                       be zero weaking the case for design.
                                   (2) What exactly is L? Do we really know?
                                       We have only one data point to look
                                       at. Perhaps other arrangements can
                                       give rise to L.
                                   (3) Why is it less probable that ID is
                                       the answer than say some natural
                                       process that produces an infinite
                                       number of universes? If you have
                                       an infinite number of universes
                                       then you will have an infinite
                                       number of universes EXACTLY like
                                       our own.
                       \_ I find ilyas arguing FOR intelligent design AGAINST
                          a Mormon to be highly amusing.
                          \_ Yeah, because people must always argue from an
                             agenda, and not just follow where the argument
                             might lead.  Grow up. -- ilyas
                             \_ ilyas, you always have an agenda.
                                \_ Grow up anonymous troll. -emarkp
                                \_ My agenda is to legislate Jesus into
                                   your heart. -- ilyas
                                   \_ You're hurting me.   -mice
           \_ Width of universe compared to age of universe compared to speed
              of light taught me that.
              "contrary to previous claims, no evidence exist for assuming a
              time variation of this fundamental constant [fine structure
2005/6/1-2 [Computer/HW, Computer/SW] UID:37914 Activity:nil
5/31    my friend who tries to email me got this message:
        The message cannot be delivered due to a configuration error on
        the server. Please contact your Administrator.
        < #5.3.0
        since no one on motd complains, i presume this is not a real issue,
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