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Thu, 30 Sep 2004

Another good Paul Graham essay. - 20:12
From Chris I learned of another new essay from Paul Graham. Chris' comments are worth reading, as is the essay.

[/various] link

Creative process of design - 18:06
While looking around at various blosxom plugins I found a link to warpedvisions as this person had some interesting blosxom plugins. Reading through some of their other entries I have decided I should read this blog regularly. Mostly due to their comments on design as a creative process when discussing Blog Zen.

Quoting from the entry

I just have to let the ideas percolate until my subconscious orders them, filtering it all into something better. This is how I've always done design, it just happens that Bradbury uncovered the mechanics of it for me. Forced design is why a lot of software is bad, that and all the compromise added to it. Well, there are probably other reasons commercial software sucks, like honesty and integrity, but that's not the point.

Bradbury also harps on the fact that he writes (and reads) endlessly, which is how he feeds his subconscious. He's right: that's how creativity works, it needs to be fed and cared for. I never realized it, but that's how my design process works, as it's really a creative force (versus a pedantic force). Pedantic may be the wrong word, but when designers attack a problem from the meticulous, anti-creative angle, the result is not cohesive -- and is often forced beyond the workable.

[/comp/design] link

Wed, 29 Sep 2004

More injured Bilbys - 13:25
Two weeks ago I Wrote about Gary Rolfe breaking his arm mtb riding. Alas it seems injuries are happening to Bilbys currently. Last week a car drove into the middle of the southside road bunch and Ulisses Da Silva suffered a broken collar bone in the resulting collision, Uli is another Bilby (and like me a committee member). Today during the Wednesday morning Bilbys road ride there was another injury. Riding around a corner, damp from rain, both the wheels on my road bike lost traction, I thought for sure I was going to have a nasty crash, I don't know how but somehow I kept the bike upright. Unfortunately Ron Brent was not so lucky, he went over hard. Hitting his helmet and breaking it, gaining some serious road rash on his right leg and dislocating his right shoulder. We all waited with him until someone was able to give him a lift to the Hospital. I hope you get better soon Ron.

Update: I talked to Ron soon after I posted this entry. His shoulder popped back in before he got to the hospital, which is good. However there is some tearing in ligaments and tendons plus some strained muscles so he is out of action on the bike for around 3 weeks, and out of swimming for a bit longer. Ron mentioned it doesn't hurt at all while sitting or lying down now, and hurts a bit when standing due to the sling on his sore neck muscles.

Update: I also never said what happened to Gary Rolfe. Gary's Radius was shattered in three places, his wrist was pulled off the ulna a bit also. So tendon and ligament damage, they had to shove it all back together and then pin the radius up with a few pins (operation). The doctors considered him lucky not to have broken the Ulna, also they commented his bones were in very good shape on the whole. Probably in large part due to being incredibly fit and a healthy diet with good calcium intake. Gary got a new cast made of fiberglass on friday as the swelling had gone down enough. The cast probably comes off in about 8 weeks.

Both Gary and Ron are busting to get out training again soon as you can imagine.

[/mtb] link

More on the Linux v Sun discussion - 11:25
This morning I notice in Miguel de Icaza's activity log he makes mention of the Sun and Linux kernel discussion I have talked about Previously. Miguel suggests Greg KH is missing the point. I am not so sure, Greg was not as Miguel suggested arguing with the "everything we do is fine, there is no need to improve" viewpoint. Greg is a well balanced guy and looking at the crap he has dealt with on LKML and other places over the years he definitely seems to understand and respect other viewpoints and will change when a technically correct and superior change is displayed.

Miguel commented about Greg rejecting the Sun guys API stability arguments. I don't know that he rejected them so much as pointed out that that the API is stable in the kernel <-> userspace interface and has been for many years. Kind of like GTK or Mono or something having published API's and having internal structures. There is not much software if any that needs to use internal structures and such with those libraries. In the kernel though if someone has out of tree kernel code it has to keep up with the kernel internal structures. Andrew Morton has talked about this issue at OLS this year as have various other people, code that gets into the kernel will be maintained.

Of course the trick then is getting your code into the kernel, to do this you really need to grok Linux kernel culture and work with it. Mikal pointed out there seem to be exceptions where Linus or others appear arbitrary. Such as FUSE which Mikal suggests wont get into the kernel as Linus thinks it is too close to a Microkernel model. Personally I would hope there are good technical reasons FUSE has not been accepted rather than simply saying all file systems should be implemented entirely in kernel space (after all do we really want GMailFS in kernel space?) Of course Linus is only human (unlike Alan (more Linus quotes)) and has been known to allow code into the kernel in a strange manner in the past. Such as when Dave Miller got the bottom halves stuff in a few years ago. (anyone got a link to something about this I wonder?)

[/comp/linux] link

Tue, 28 Sep 2004

Bouncing Cows - 18:34
So Bob was looking at some of the xscreensaver-gl things on some machines here at work today, out of curiosity I installed them on my laptop. I must say the bouncingcow screensaver is truly brilliant.

Oh also Chris is right when he says "I estimate he puts more kilometres on his bike than I do on my car. I've driven about 26,000km over the last four years" about me. I tend to do around 10,000km a year on the mtb and around 8,000km a year on my road bike. However I do agree this is a significant amount when you consider almost none of it is commuting (my commute is 1.5km each way) I have some other stuff to respond to Chris' post once more but I am waiting for some stats from friends in Sydney to include them tomorrow sometime.

[/various] link

Mon, 27 Sep 2004

Reasons to ride bikes - 18:54
So here I am responding to Chris again on some bike issue. Chris did some sums on the cost of a car for Australian drivers after one of his co workers pointed out figures for car owners in the US.

Chris did note that people will always make time for things they are truly interested in. Which is good, and correct, also I have to remind myself often that the majority of people are not as interested in Cycling as I am. I may take it to extremes (doing a few climbs of black mountain this evening and having a ball doing so) but there are some things about bicycle commuting that Chris didn't mention.

The two big ones are it can often be faster, especially at heavy traffic times, and the other point is it is less stressful than driving a car. To explain why it is often faster. Any commute that takes less than half an hour generally will not make you sweat excessively so you may get away without showering at the end of the commute. You also need not hunt around for parking spots or similar and have to walk from the car to work as bicycles will generally be stored in your office building somewhere.

The above is not really that helpful as it does come down to making time for something you really enjoy to a large extent. The big win for bike commuting I find is it is far less stressful and it wakes you up. Personally I find driving sucks, especially in traffic. However for me cycling lets me loosen up mentally and physically and gets my mind and body working, siting in a car driving somewhere just aggravates and annoys me. To some extent this has to do with mind set, however I find if I have not had a good ride (well exercise) in the morning I am not as alert and ready for work as otherwise.

[/mtb] link

Buggy Bike Lock Considerations - 11:40
Last week I commented that there is a bit to think about with the Buggy Bike lock stuff that has hit the Internet recently.

First as Chris noticed it is not exactly recent and new information.

John Stevenson (from CyclingNews and previously in many other bike industry positions here and in the UK for a long time pointed out this.


Gee a movie of a lock design defect that was known about ten years ago:

That it's still possible to buy u-locks with this gaping design flaw
*ten years* after it was first revealed just indicates how serious some
lock companies really are about the quality of their products.

I was taught that trick (and several others) by a bloke who'd found
himself living on a Nottingham council estate full of petty crooks and
been taught by them in turn. The bottom line is that there are several
attacks that will open most inexpensive u-locks.

If you want something serious, spend big and make sure it says 'Trelock'
or 'Abus' on it.

Just about every lock marketed at cyclists is a toy.

Kryptonite does alas fall into the toy category. And apparently there are movies on that site and others for opening the other key whole types on most common locks. Including the new modified straight key Kryptonite are now marketing.

As seen on SingleTrackWorld, Kryptonite are coming to the party with respect to giving consumers replacement barrels that are less buggy. Of course if you read the forums with those two articles people have noted that the new barrels and locks on them that Kryptonite are offering consumers are almost as bad.

What has happened with this new information on the Internet is now rather than only bike thieves and the like having the information pretty much everyone can easily find out about it. Sure bike lock companies should not have been relying on Security by obscurity, and alas they have not gotten entirely better. As John says try Abus or Trelock brands, motor cycle locks and companies supplying them (ie these two brands) are a lot better than most bike locks.

[/mtb] link

Fri, 24 Sep 2004

Of course Sun doesn't really get it. - 11:40
Yesterday I commented on some Sun developer noticing the sour grapes attitude of the LTT developers. Interestingly today on LWN there was a link to a diary entry from some Sun engineer going on about reasons he thinks Sun cant use Linux or work with Linux kernel development people. Greg K-H (Linux kernel developer) has a rather good rebuttal to this. Interestingly he pretty much points out that working with the Linux kernel developers on some feature until everyone is sure it can go in to the kernel (will be maintained, is of high quality, that it will in fact be used and useful) is how you go about getting stuff into the kernel. You do not simply put code in because some marketing or management person says it is absolutely necessary.

[/comp/linux] link

Thu, 23 Sep 2004

Sour grapes in kernel coding - 19:36
Sitting in CLUG currently and not really paying attention to the talk, I should probably do some blogging. (well I could do some work, but hey this is different) On Andrew Over's blog today he wrote something about the DTrace features in Solaris 10. Now personally I don't really care about DTrace, however I read his links anyway. It is entertaining to see some comments from one of the Sun engineers about the Linux Trace Toolkit developers.

Basically the LTT developers are whining about LTT not being accepted into the mainline Linux kernel causing the LTT to lag and allow dtrace to be a more advanced technology. I have to agree with the Sun guys here, it seems to be sour grapes. In the case of the Linux kernel you simply need to work with the kernel maintainers the way they wish to work. First provide code and tests or performance data to back up your ideas to prove that some feature should be in the kernel. Then publicly work with the kernel maintainers to integrate your code and ideas in small patches. Do not try to develop elsewhere for some amount of time and then submit a huge monolithic patch then whine when it is rejected.

[/comp/linux] link

Mon, 20 Sep 2004

Diary apathy. - 22:12
I wondered why Andrew's server was not responding this morning, I guess this explains it. Otherwise the reason I am writing this now is I feel I should respond to some of the things Chris has been learning about bike locks recently with some more in depth information, however as it will take time to collate the facts and dig up information I would prefer to go to bed now in order to be awake at 5:15am for the Cotter/Uriarra loop. Chris, if you happen to read this, there are already a few brands that are not as broken, Abus is one, and Kryptonite are in fact providing new not so buggy parts for consumers. However there is a whole lot more to consider with this that I will attempt to explain tomorrow sometime.

[/various] link

Trying to be a real blogger. - 19:23
So yesterday Mikal said I was not a real blogger as I did not respond to him in my own online diary. Here is take two. Michael has had a discussion in blog land the past few days about blog discovery, today he talked about Google hits and macho measuring or something. It appears Mikal is simply still looking for more ways to find someone's BogoTridge count, which in this instance will be even higher as Tridge doesn't blog any more.

[/various] link

Getting some riding in. - 12:19
After having last weekend off, and a slightly lower than normal week cycling KM wise last week (230 KM Monday to Friday inclusive), it was good to get some KM in this weekend. On Saturday I headed out with Morgs and the rest for a pleasant 175KM road ride (Federal Highway, Collector, Bredalbyn, Gunning (lunch stop), Gundaroo, Sutton, Federal Highway). Yesterday I hopped on the mtb and rode out to Kowen with Richard Bontjer for some time on the 24 hour course. Richard went home after one lap, I had another lap before heading home.

On my second lap I had a small crash, sliding out around a corner, not bad, just some grazes on my right arm and leg. I stopped for a few minutes after the crash and sat on my bike until I was sure I had regrouped. The course this year is 19KM, the lap took me 1 hour 12 minutes, including the time I stopped after the crash. This was at an easy pace with no significant hard effort put in, so I should be able to do a similar pace when riding solo in the race.

At the end of the second lap I was starting to run low on food and water so I decided to head back into Canberra, this time via the Federal Highway and Gunghalin so I could visit Gary and find out how he was going with his arm and all. Gary seems good, he is handling the pain well and is already talking about getting back on the stationary trainer and into running again in a few weeks. Anyway it was good to have 281KM of riding this weekend to make up for the slightly low KM count during the week last week.

[/mtb] link

Fri, 17 Sep 2004

Mountain Biking Breaks - 11:24
So on the regular Friday morning mtb ride today. We went riding in Majura Pines this week.

9 people at the cafe at 6am, on the way over John got a pinch flat on a gutter, so we waited for him, just as we approached the gate I got a call from Gary Rolfe wondering where we were, we rolled in to sight as he finished calling. Another 6 people including Gary at the gate, the list of riders was now

Dave B, Julie Q, Alan L, Andrew Rowe, Adair F, Angus H, Alex R, John B, Steve H (me), Gary R, Jaymz D, Andrew? (friend of Gary's), Ben C, Pete B, Christine B

15 people for the morning ride.

So we climbed on in and on the entry to the first ST my front wheel went into a rut, washed out in loose sand after the rut and I went over the handlebars, oops, oh well no harm done so on we went.

Due to the size of the group we had to wait about 2 minutes at the end of most single tracks. Then through Pitt st I was able to to the gap jump three times in a row while waiting for everyone to catch up. I must say though flow wise I prefer the double at the bottom of the first straight section of Pitt st over the gap, it is a really smooth jump that double.

Even with the huge group I was aiming to get to the top of the northern end ST today so we pushed on pretty fast and climbed up the switchbacks at the northern end (just to torment Andrew R on his single speed )

The descent from the northern end put a huge grin on everyone's faces. I was attempting to drop Angus from my back wheel all the way, and got out of his sight a few times, he did alas see flashes of me through the trees so I did not quite manage it.

Upon regrouping we headed toward the dam, taking the alternate route through the two new large gullies at the bottom there, I went through both and stopped to watch everyone else come through, about 5 people had come through both and a few more through the first when everyone stopped. Gary Rolfe crashed in the first gully, his guess is he saw the rut at the bottom, and went through it a bit sketchy then kept looking at the rut and was kicked over the bars, he put his left arm out and landed on it. At first it didn't hurt much he said, though he heard a noise, upon looking at it however it was at a strange angle.

So Gary broke some bones in his left arm (he is left handed, which will mean he can not write for a while). Unfortunate for Gary as in his own words he was just starting to regain some form he lost through illness over the past 6 months, and was looking forward to doing well in the road race this weekend and in up coming events. Heck Gary was the person who talked me into doing the 24 hour solo this year, on the basis of saying "if you ride solo I will ride solo", he is obviously not riding in that event this year (which will be the first 24 hour race he has ever missed riding in)

So everyone send their best wishes to Gary for a quick recovery and lets hope we can keep his spirits up.

[/mtb] link

Thu, 16 Sep 2004

The ongoing turning to the darkside - 15:16
Although I tried to interest a bunch of people in a real off road Bacon ride this weekend, everyone is intent to ride their road bikes Saturday. The darkside beckons, or something. Heidi may have a point that Morgs is roadie scummm <g>, after all the road ride that is happening is a longish one he and Chris thought up. As I am planning to spend most of Sunday on the mtb I guess I can join in with the roadie stuff on Saturday. Alas poor Bacon I knew him Jim. (that sentence will only make sense to Baconners so don't stress if it seems strange)

As for this week, well was up doing stuff for the Bilbys pretty late Tuesday night, so got to sleep around 12:30am, I forgot to set my alarm, and thus missed out on the Wednesday morning road ride, however as I woke up at 9am I probably needed the sleep anyway. So for the rest of the day I was looking longingly outside wanting to go for a ride. Eventually just before 5pm I hopped on the road bike and rode over to Mitchell, back to ANU, out to Warramanga and back to ANU. A nice 45KM at a mostly easy pace. This morning was Majura with Jaymz, Mike, and Tanja. (Jez opted out as, being a man of leisure currently was heading out to Kowen with Andrew Rowe at 8am for some bigger kays) Lunch was a fun play on Mt Ainslie, so far today it was 26KM this morning, 10 KM more commuting and running an errand, and 18KM at lunch. All fun.

[/mtb] link

Tue, 14 Sep 2004

Approaching my regular fitness - 13:41
Last Tuesday I had more difficulty than usual staying with the others on the Cotter/Uriarra loop. This week was easier, I was able to climb in the middle to the front of the group, however usually I would be able to drop all but the fastest climbers. So I am still not quite back to form. I had the entire weekend off the bike, which for me is exceedingly unusual. I really want to ensure I don't have a cold at the 24 hour race. I intend to do a bit of epicosity this weekend on Sunday, and hopefully can talk people into a longish Bacon ride also on Saturday (Tuggeranong pines from Manuka and return anyone?)

I helped with timing and stuff at the CORC 3 hour day night race on Saturday and admittedly was glad not to be racing as it was raining heavily, freezing cold and muddy. Sunday turned out fine, however Marea had to go to Sydney suddenly on Friday arvo so I wasn't doing the cyclegaine anyway.

The cyclegaine had some things happen, Andrew Rowe and David Baldwin had to finish with only 3 hours of effort as Dave's rear derailleur (XTR, AUD $300 worth) exploded after a small stick got caught and twisted and broke everything. Michael Carden and Allan Bontjer competed as a team of ring ins, replacing the original team of Jim Trail and David Morgan completely, teams of ring ins amuse me.

[/mtb] link

Timestamps and rss dates - 13:23
The problem I noticed when I started using blosxom about timestamps and the need to use date -r can be alleviated with some of the plugins on the blosxom plugin registry. For now I will continue manually keeping a list of time stamps of all the files in my diary when I first uploaded them and use that to reapply correct times when I need to change something.

I noticed when Mikal pulled my lca entries into a planet-lca that the time stamps of entries pulled from my Diary rss feed were wrong. AJ pointed out that standard blosxom needed to be patched with the <pubDate> tags and pointed out the debian blosxom package was likely already patched. He was correct so I copied the debian tags into my blosxom.cgi

[/various] link

Thu, 09 Sep 2004

Still feeling kind of flat - 18:04
Tuesday morning I did the 65KM cotter/uriarra loop on the road bike. I at the time still had sore legs from the weekend, which was a shock as I have not had such sore legs for more than a day after an event previously. I suspect the cold hanging on to my body is partly to blame. It was fun though for once I had to actually put some effort in just to stay with the others. Wednesday morning I did not get out on the road bike with the Bilbys as per the norm due to heavy rain. This morning I rode through Majura Pines with Mike and Jez, saw Tanja and Mal out there too. Lunch today was a nice easy ride around the Mt Ainslie area, we will probably be doing some of those trails again tomorrow morning, though for longer and with more climbing. This morning was around 24KM, lunch was 18KM.

As for this weekend, I still have not decided if I want to compete in the two events, Saturday afternoon/evening is a CORC 3hour day/night race, Sunday is the ACTRA 6 hour cyclegaine (mountain bike navigation event, a bit like a 1 day Polaris Challenge) which I have been planning to compete in with Marea (same team we rode the Polaris this year). The weather forecast looks miserable and neither Marea or I are feeling in top form, it may be a good idea for me to relax a bit this weekend, after all my solo effort at the 2004 Mont Australian 24 Hour race is looming.

[/mtb] link

Toys and locations - 11:34
Yesterday morning Tony, Mikal, Kristy and I did some visiting for lca. Looking at the venue we will hold the Professional Delegates networking session in, and visiting a toys and other such vendor crap (as Mikal likes to call it) supplier. Overkill is hardly enough I am sure, so having 4 of the lca crew visit works fine. The venue for the networking thing is pretty cool so I think we are happy with that. Officially Mikal is the guy doing vendor crap, and thus choosing the most off putting, bright, etc shirts he can for lca organisers to wear during the conference and dealing with the toys and such we give to delegates and speakers. Everyone else wanted to come along just to see the cool toys I am sure. Well Tony and I wanted to order some business shirts with the lca2005 logo which we intend to have for sale during the conference for delegates to purchase.

[/lca] link

Michael's comments on the five worlds of software development today. - 11:16
I have commented to MRD that the stuff this Joel on software guy writes is often pretty good. Michael made two comments I wonder about though. Letting paid developers working for big companies do polishing. Sure this I can agree with, however MRD adds "cross-platformness" to the list of polishing tasks. I suspect companies in general wont really work on this, whether it will be cross architecture or software platforms. A company will work on the platforms they ship, not on all platforms or architectures. This is something Linux does better than any closed system, it is fully supported on many many architectures. The interesting item to note is the commercial Linux distributions support far less architectures than Debian. And Linux is in theory a single software platform on any given architecture anyway (though Michael is possibly commenting on GNOME's ability to run on non Linux platforms also).

The next point of interest is where MRD talks about internal software that allows people in a company or development group to get the job done more effectively. If we reference back to the recent Paul Graham essay on Great Hackers he suggests a large company may be able to employ great hackers if they can work on this sort of project. Even if the software the company sells would not interest thee people, the intermediate software they may develop to allow all the other developers in the company to work better may be a good target for them. I suppose in referencing this and looking at the projects MRD talks about you can see some correlation between great hackers and the intermediate software, Samba, Apache, PHP, etc.

[/various] link

Twelfth Night - 10:55
Last night I participated once more in a ritual of sorts my non cycling, non Linux, college friends and I do. We went to the current Bell Shakespeare play at the play house theatre in Canberra. I got them all interested in going to the theatre back in college (year 12 for those non Canberrans around) and it has stuck. We tend to see the Bell productions and about 4 other productions a year (we would see more but for lack of time and money and organisation for this sort of thing)

Anyway we have been doing this for around 8 years now, and seen a few different performances. The Bell production that came to Canberra earlier this year, "Servant of Two Masters" was absolutely brilliant, not Shakespeare, so different for Bell, however it was one of the funniest things I have seen in years. Last night was the current production of "Twelfth Night" and though it was good, something about the show didn't jibe with me. I didn't like the fools in this play, but it was not just that. I hope I am not getting too blase or anything about this, I hardly see my non cycling, non geek friends apart from these outings.

[/various] link

Tue, 07 Sep 2004

That mtb stuff is a heap of fun. - 12:01
The 12 hour race was a hoot. Heidi and I rocked up and registered around 6pm on Friday so did not go out for a lap of the course. After talking to others we found out the course was identical to last year so we probably did not need to check it out. Instead we headed to the motel and met up with the other people we knew staying there so we could all go find some dinner. (Heidi was most pleased they had VB at the restaurant, apparently that is somewhat scarce in NZ)

Saturday dawned and we got ready to race, I volunteered for the start lap, which involves running a few hundred metres to the bikes and then heading on out for a very crowded lap of the course. I had a cold the two weeks leading up to this race, I thought I was over it, however I noticed when trying to use my top end speed on the bike my breathing was more laboured than I am used to and I was coughing more than normal. Strangely when you consider the crowding on the first lap, my latent cold and the run we did to start I ended up doing a 33:37 first lap, last year my fastest lap was 35:50. I did however end up paying for this effort later in the day. Heidi headed out for her first lap and had the bad luck of a puncture in the first single track.

When I headed out for my next two laps in a row I did start finding breathing and a flat feeling in my legs proving difficult, I even ended up warding off cramps, it appeared I was definitely not on form for this race. Heidi wasn't either so fortunately neither of us felt we were letting the team down. We decided to ignore results and just go out and have as much fun as we could, I was doing as many jumps and other things I could on each lap and generally having a ball, Heidi also started to enjoy her laps a lot more once all possible pressure about results was off.

Around 5:30pm we decided to have a bit of a break, then as it started to pour with rain and thunderstorms hit we cracked open the beers. All in all we had a really good time at the race, who cares about results. (okay okay so I admit we are already planning strategies for wining next year, the winning mixed team this year did 18 laps, the same number as we did last year. Heidi and I both know we can improve so we want to go for it again next September)

[/mtb/events] link

Thu, 02 Sep 2004

Panic over dns, what work for lca this week (where are we going today</plagarise>) - 21:29
Last night I was writing various lca information and on checking the links worked I found did not appear to resolve. Fortunately it was not off air, simply was playing up and not properly responding to queries. I imagine this is just another in the line of many panics I will have, whether well founded or not, leading up to April 23rd (the end of the conference) next year.

As for where we are going today (rather poor deliberate plagarism), we had another meeting and again it appears we had more people than actual jobs to do at the moment. This could be a good thing, when there is a lot of work to do we should have the people available for the work. I still need to work on letting go a bit and allowing lca crew members to do their own thing more and just being around to ensure things get done.

As for media wise, Rusty has volunteered to be the media contact person for the conference. This is cool as he has the gift of the gab (kissed the blarney stone or similar) in the context of media and people in suits and the like. Also he knows the guff about pretty well.

[/lca] link

The WSMTB N-ZO 12 hour commeth. - 09:52
This morning I had my normal thursday morning jaunt, one and half hours of mtb riding in Majura Pines. Mike Burden accompanied me this morning, distance and time on my bike computer are 25.6 KM and 1hour 31min respectively.

So there is a 12 hour mtb race this weekend in the western sydney area. I have competed in this race both in 2002 in mens pairs with Andrew Rowe and last year (2003) in mixed pairs with Heidi Flaxman. The race is held between Richmond and Springwood on the edge of the Blue Mountains in Yellomundee National Park. Every year the course has been a heck of a lot of fun, with interesting technical obstacles in places around the course, good flowing single track, basically a huge variey of really good mtb terrain, lots to look forward to :)

Heidi is one of the fastest female mtb riders in Australia, so having her on my team last year was a good thing, the plan had been to win. We thought we had, heck they gave us first place on the night of the event. A few days later when the results were put online we discovered we had in fact come second by 3 minutes. (which after 12 hours is pretty close I suppose)

So this year we intend to learn from our mistakes and see what we can do better. Last year there were a few obvious blunders we made, though I think I can lay the blame for the three minute loss at the end on my preperation for my final laps.
The obvious mistakes were

  • Not checking the results often, especially as night hit and being complacent with our lead.
  • Due to the above mentioned complacency Heidi and I both decided to ride slower laps in the night, thinking we need not push so hard any more we started lapping the course about 4 or 6 minutes slower than we were capable of doing (during the day we had both been doing 36 to 39 minute laps, neither of us slow down more than 2 minutes in the dark and yet ended up doing 42 to 46 minute laps for all our night laps)
  • The big mistake was on my part, I had been hoping Heidi would want to do our final lap crossing over to 9pm so had eaten enough food for doing one lap at the end of the race rather than two. When I ended up doing two laps in a row to finish the day off I had not eaten enough and "Hit the wall" (ran out of energy), my last lap of the day was 53 minutes, 7 minutes slower than any other lap I had done all day. The second placed team had been slowly clawing back the 15-20 minute margin we had over them ay 6pm and then my final lap was when they were able to overtake us.
So learning from the above, do not ever get complacent, keep hammering at full tilt for the entire event, and prepare for doing extra riding or other similar eventualities if need be.

So Heidi has flown in to Australia from where she is now living in New Zealand, and we are getting ready to try to make up for last year. What ever happens though it should be a great weekend with some really fun riding :)

[/mtb/events] link

Issues with blosxom's files and timestamps - 09:42
So one of the problems I have noticed with blosxom for this diary is that due to the fact it simply uses files in a directory hierarchy for all diary entries, the timestamps on the files are used for sorting entries.

A problem with this arises if you need to update or modify an entry, or maybe when recovering from backups or various other similar actions. If the timestamps change, the diary entries are rearranged.

Fortunately as Mikal pointed out, blosxom is a 444 line perl program so trivial to modify. My plan is to use a time stamp in an html comment somewhere in each diary entry file and make blosxom use those to sort the files. Another option is simply using those time stamps in a post processing step and that step can read them and use date (1) with the -d option to ensure they are in the correct order for blosxom. It is not a difficult problem to get around.

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Wed, 01 Sep 2004

Earlier agenda next time - 18:37
I put a few items on the agenda for our next lca meeting last night. Talking with Michael Still I decided not to add more this time and we can simply concentrate on getting these few items done, plus our open action items.

One thing of note here, Michael had the view that it appears there are a lot of us meeting fairly often and not getting a whole lot done. Part of this may be because we have a large group of people all rocking up and there really is not a huge amount of work to be done for the conference right now. Another aspect could be I am not managing the people resources as well as I should. Also I may not be delegating and trusting others enough, I really need to find ways to ensure all the lca crew members feel it is their linux conference and if they write announcements and other items in their style without me hanging over their shoulders it may help a lot.

The thing I really need to make time to do tomorrow is to start sending out the updated cfp notice to as many places as possible. Oh yeah anyone who hasnt yet, please submit to our cfp.

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