sawyl: (A self portrait)
Asked to investigate why large numbers of access times had been updated on a file system, I confidently ruled out an NFS client on the grounds that the file system had been exported read-only on the AIX server. However when I examined the situation more closely, I noticed that reading a file on a client did in fact result in an update of the atime on the server. Something that doesn't appear to happen when serving NFS file systems using Linux.

According to our best hypothesis:

  • the server exports the file system read-only
  • the client mounts the file system normally
  • a program on the client traverses the file system reading each file
  • the read triggers the NFS daemon to access the file on the server. It is this action that changes the atime
  • the program on the client cannot use utime() to reset the atime because the file system is read-only

The behaviour is odd, but I'm not sure whether it's contrary to the RFC or whether it's just a detail of the AIX implementation of NFS...

sawyl: (A self portrait)
I was up at my usual time this morning, but my parents and uncle — all of whom must have been pretty hungover — didn't show until around 9:30. After our gentle start, the newlyweds came over with their McD's breakfasts to open a few of the presents:

The morning after... )

I pottered around for the rest of the morning before deciding, just after lunch, to catch the three o'clock train from Birmingham. The journey wasn't great — the train was on-time but packed to bursting with students and marines — I was forced to stand the whole way to Exeter, but at least I got to stand in carriage rather than the super-claustrophobic vestibule. And at least I wasn't like one poor woman, on her way to Plymouth, who made two unsuccessful attempts to get to the lavs before giving up in favour of a rapid visit to those on Tiverton Parkway station.

On the first part of the journey between Birmingham and Bristol, I found myself standing next to a woman who I had a nagging feeling I recognised and then, as she was getting off, she said something to someone, revealing a strong Swansea accent. Now that I've had time to think about it, I'm pretty sure her name was Andrea, that she studied maths, and that she was a friend of a friend of mine at Cardiff twenty years ago. What a small world...
sawyl: (Default)
I was talking over a problem with someone today. Midway through the conversation, they paused and looked at me quizzically:
Them: You look different today. Have you changed something?
Me: [ trying and failing to think of something that might have changed my appearance ] I don't think so. Why? What do you think you've noticed?
Them: I don't know. You seem more... I don't know... Rugged!
Me: [ completely thrown ] Um. Maybe I've caught the sun? I might have got slightly sunburnt last week. That could be it. [ awkwardly changing the subject ] Anyway, you were saying...

I mean. There's no way that I'm rugged. I'm the opposite of rugged. I'm more like Spencer Reid: a pipe cleaner with eyes...

sawyl: (Default)
Surprised to discover an inflatable Stonehenge had taken shape in Belmont Park today. But thanks to a quick google, I've discovered that it's actually an art work by Jeremy Deller called Scacrilege. Suddenly, Mitch Benn's bouncing song from last week's Now Show makes a lot more sense...
sawyl: (Default)
Random factoid courtesey of someone at Holland & Barrett: the vegetable drawer of the fridge is an ideal place to keep a hibernating tortoise. Ideal except, I imagine, if you want to keep your food and your pets separate...
sawyl: (Default)
A startling revelation from [ profile] doctor_squale the number of cubicals in the second floor lavatories at work has increased by one. And I hadn't noticed. So now I've started obsessively counting doors, trying work out whether the numbers have really changed or whether I'm just caught up in a side-effect of accidental Cortexiphan exposure...
sawyl: (Default)
From the Guardian, news of a superinjunction so super that it also covers a related court case:

This latest move, orchestrated by the solicitors Farrer & Co, raises the bizarre legal possibilities of a woman who cannot be named being jailed at the request of her equally anonymous brother-in-law, and of the entire trial for alleged contempt of court taking place in secret.


sawyl: (Default)
My neighbours don't trust their cat. They've let it out for a walk around the front garden, but they've tethered it with a bungee. I'm surprised the cat is willing to tolerate being leashed. I remember, on holiday in La Rochelle way back when, seeing someone walking a Siamese on a lead and being told that they were the only breed of cat willing to allow themselves to be led. But on the strength of today's evidence, I think I'm going to have to discard my long held belief.
sawyl: (Default)
I can't help but think it was a mistake to make The Man Who Was Thursday required reading for all undercover police officers...
sawyl: (Default)
Via recent posting to comp.risks an interesting NYT piece on the technical methods being used to combat cheating in universities. The piece ends with a description of the wonderfully retro method one student employed in an attempt to game his exams:

As for Central Florida’s testing center, one of its most recent cheating cases had nothing to do with the Internet, cellphones or anything tech. A heavily tattooed student was found with notes written on his arm. He had blended them into his body art.

Perhaps this explains the popularity of the literary tattoo...

sawyl: (Default)
One a couple of occassions this week, I've had moments that have made me feel like I've slipped through a crack and ended up in Undone. This, for example, strikes me as just the sort of conversation that Edna seems to get into with London Carlo:

Them: I think we'll go on holiday to Brittany this year. It's easy. You can take the ferry from Plymouth to somewhere...
Me: [ distractedly ] Roscoff maybe...
Them: I want to see the war cemeteries. [ A short pause ] And the Normandy beaches.
Me: [ baffled ] Um. Well. Yes. Except that Normandy beaches would actually be in Normandy...

Proof, if it were needed, that the British educational system is the finest in the world...

sawyl: (Default)
One of my friends is off camping next week. But they're planning to take so much stuff, they're worried that it might overload the suspension on their car. So they did what ever anally retentive geek worth their VB does: knocked up an Excel spreadsheet with the weights of absolutely everything, down to pan scourers, to ensure that they came in under the limit.

Somewhere, my mother is envious. If only her computer skills weren't so pour, she too would be able to code up all her obsessive lists into a spreadsheet and modify them at the flick of a search and replace. But as it is, she barely has enough computer-fu to open a browser window (which she can only do if the machine is already running), so all her listing is limited to the pen and paper kind. Probably just as well. Were she able to enlist computational help, her list-making dark-side abilities would become more powerful that I could ever imagine.
sawyl: (Default)
After a week of clear heavens, the contrails crossing the sky this morning looked odd. I don't suppose there were any more flights this morning than usual — fewer, most probably — but it felt excessive and intrusive after the recent period of total flightlessness.
sawyl: (Default)
One of my colleagues was surprised to see me in the canteen at work, eating lunch. He was, apparently, of the belief that I never ate anything and that my disappearances in early afternoon were solely for the purposes of reading. God only knows what he thought I survived on. Camomile tea, perhaps?
sawyl: (Default)
Via [ profile] matociquala, a graphic representation of my recent brain states. Frankly, I'm extremely disturbed by just how strange I seem to be...

What I've been journaling about )
sawyl: (Default)
For one reason and another, I got to comparing nightmares with one of my colleagues. After a late-night dose of gorgonzola, he'd had bad dreams about being chased by a witch. I, on the other hand, had been plagued by a dream in which I'd been forced to sing the part of Tamino in a chaotic English production of The Magic Flute.

I'm not entirely sure what this says about me, but it at least it puts me in good company...
sawyl: (Default)
How about this for unfortunate: a flat fire caused by a crystal ball. If only she'd had an interest in old school weather observations, she wouldn't have been caught quite so unawares...
sawyl: (Default)
Via Jenny Davidson, a salutary warning from the Indy about the dangers of not doing a background check when hiring out your stately home for the night:

Last weekend, employees at the 17th-century manor house, which is accustomed to hosting corporate dos and chocolate-box weddings for well-heeled clients, were left speechless when 350 masked guests stripped off at the stroke of midnight and engaged in group sex of bacchanalian proportions.

According to those who witnessed the spectacle, security guards gave up trying to persuade copulating couples to go to their rooms because almost every guest at the party was "otherwise engaged" with a fellow reveller.

How embarrassing...

sawyl: (Default)
In response to Marcel Berlins' complaint that modern barristers are boring, two lawyers have written to the Guardian with a couple of memories that prove that not all QCs are dull:

When representing a man charged with masturbating a dolphin, Tony had adduced evidence that the aquatic mammal sometimes uses its sexual organ as a foraging tool. In closing, he reminded the jury that "You don't often see a man pushing his trolley round Tesco's with his penis, do you?". Unable to disagree, they duly acquitted.



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