Archive for November, 2005

Boycott to Catalunya from Peralta!

Tuesday, November 29th, 2005

The political climate in Spain is a bit disturbing in the last few weeks, with Spanish nationalists acusing Catalans of being anti-Spanish, and Catalan nationalists accusing Spaniards of being anti-Catalan. There is even a plan, from the Spanish nationalist camp, about boycotting Catalan products during the Christmas, as there were some calls from the Catalan nationalist camp about boycotting Madrid’s candidacy for the 2012 Olympic Games. Normal crazy nationalist craps, yeah, but today I learnt a bit more about how crappy these polititians can be: the Major of the place where I live, Sagrario Guinduláin, is an active participant of the boycott. I guess she’ll deserve, once again, the crowd booing at her when she talks in next year’s festival (as it happened the last two years).

As for me, I’ll continue eating “fuet”, “pan tumaca” and other Catalan products for the rest of my life. As for nationalisms, there was someone who said “nationalism is a disease that only gets cured by travelling” (or something similar, sorry for the bad translation).

Films

Sunday, November 27th, 2005

Watched a few more films this weekend, worth mentioning. First, watched El Lobo, one of the few films about ETA (the Basque separatist terrorist group) I’ve ever seen. Based on real facts, it is about a guy infiltrated in the terrorist group, during the last years of the dictature in Spain. Also re-watched a couple of films I had already seen years ago: Aguirre, The wrath of God, quite good, as I remembered it, and The Visitors, not as funny as the first time I saw it, but funny after all.

Roberto Heras’ doping

Saturday, November 26th, 2005

The B sample test of Roberto Heras confirmed the doping :( It is indeed quite strange, since the sample is from the last important stage (a time trial), when he had almost 5 minutes of difference with the second rider, so, even though Roberto is worst in time trial than Denis Menchov (the 2nd), I’m sure he was not going to lose 4/5 minutes. So yeah, quite strange why he would have used doping that day when he had all set for winning his 4th Vuelta, if he really did. Or maybe he didn’t?

In any case, bad news for cycling.

Nautilus Actions

Thursday, November 24th, 2005

As part of my call for UNIX power for desktop, one of the best proposals, IMO, was Nautilus-Actions. The idea behind it is to avoid the need for writing 10s of Nautilus plugins, by letting the users extend the Nautilus context menus as they wish. So, after a few weeks, and a lot of work from Frederic Ruaudel, the man behind Nautilus-Actions, it is looking now great.

First, it adds a new item to the Nautilus context menu, from which you can add, edit, remove actions:


From this last window, you can configure the details of the actions, which will show up in the menu as soon as you add it.

As it is shown in this screenshot, you can configure all details related to the action, to specify for which combination of files/folders, file patterns and network schemes should the action be shown on the Nautilus context menu.

Looks good, eh? Kudos to Frederic!

DSL problems

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005

The last 3 weekends, on Saturday, my Internet connection has been down, for hours (usually until Monday morning) and yesterday, it happened again. At around 4 PM, all connections started to drop, and after checking what the problem was, I called the support service at Telefónica. Usually, the people answering the phone, even though asking the same questions over and over, are nice enough to not get you upset, but yesterday, things were different:

  • Me: so, the line is having problems again
  • Support girl: ok, just reboot the computer and try again
  • Me: reboot the computer, what for?
  • SG: to reconfigure the router
  • Me: But the router is not connected to the computer, it is connected to a hub, as is the computer. Rebooting it won’t touch anything at all in the router. And the router is correctly configured
  • SG: what windows are you using?
  • Me: no windows here, just linux
  • SG: linux is not supported I’m afraid
  • Me: ok, right, but this has nothing to do with linux/windows. I tell you the router is configured correctly but gets no outside traffic
  • SG: no, your router has lost the configuration
  • Me: I am seeing, via telnet, the router configuration, and nothing has changed, it’s configured correctly, the problem is in the line, as it was the last 3 weekends. Also, pinging from the router to an external IP gives ‘unreachable’ errors.
  • SG: ok, run an ipconfig on the computer
  • Me: the computer has a local address (192.168.x.x)
  • SG: the router has lost its configuration then
  • Me: what?
  • SG: look, you’re gonna need to create a partition for windows so that we can send someone to reconfigure the router
  • Me: but I can configure the router myself via telnet/HTTP, no need for windows
  • SG: I SAY YOU NEED A WINDOWS PARTITION, OR PAY SOMEONE TO CONFIGURE IT ON LINUX
  • Me: but the router is configured (sigh)
  • SG: no, it’s not
  • Me: look, I work on computers, I know what I’m talking about, and the problem is on the line
  • SG: heh, if you knew computers, you’d know you need windows to configure the router
  • Me: Ok, thanks for not helping me, bye

The conversation was much longer than what I wrote here, and the girl was much more unpolite than what you can see from this. So, just went out for a walk, came back, and called again, this time to talk with a much more polite person, who gave me a support incidence number. As I was telling the first girl, the problem was on the line, and this morning my DSL line was back, without the need for a fucking Windows partition.

So, lesson learned. When you call and they tell you to reboot the computer, just say “ok”, wait a couple of minutes without doing and saying anything, and then say “ok, computer rebooted, what’s next?”. Also, when they ask about which windows version you use, just answer with “98”, “XP” or whatever (supported) version you prefer. And when they tell you to run Windows programs, just try to find the Linux equivalent, if there is. That way, they’ll treat you much better than if you try to be clever.

PXES

Monday, November 21st, 2005

I am in the process of installing many distros on a single machine, and would like to have all of them available at all times (ie, no need to reboot to switch to another one). So, I’ve heard about PXES, which, if I understood correctly, should allow to do that.

Anyone with experience on this able to give some advise?

Women ‘blamed for being raped’

Monday, November 21st, 2005

Wow, so a survey shows that “1/3 of people believe a woman is partially or completely responsible for being raped if she has behaved flirtatiously“.

I remember once, in a taxi in Madrid, the taxi driver trying to convince me about this same thing, talking about a woman in the are where he lives that “dressed flirtatiously” (“like a bitch” he said a couple of times) and that “was calling for someone to rape her”, and also the guide we had while in Egypt saying something similar (“that woman was raped because she dressed like a bitch”).

So, is there not hope for men to behave like real men and not like troglodytes? Not sure about the statistics a few years ago (when machism, at least in Spain, was more spread than it is now), but a 3rd looks like a lot to me. I wonder what those people would say if I stole their car because “they left the door open and so was calling for someone to steal it”.

Long time no blog

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

Not many exciting things have happened since I last bloged, but some of them are worth mentioning.

University: I talked some time ago with Javier Ros, from the Universidad Pública de Navarra about doing Free Software-related tutorials with the students. A few weeks ago, he told me some students were interested in a GTK course, so asked me if I could do it, which, of course, I accepted. So, since then, an evening per week, I’ve got 17/18 pupils (10 from the University, the rest being teachers in High Schools and Free Software lovers) and so far it seems to go ok, with people really interested in learning GTK.

Films: I’ve been getting up to date with some films I hadn’t watched yet, like Dark City (very good), The 6th day (not bad, good beginning, but, as with all Arnold’s films, with an expected end), Deathwatch and The Last Samurai (which indeed I didn’t watch till the end, since I didn’t like much the beginning, or my mood wasn’t very good, can’t remember exactly). I’ve been also rewatching one of my favorites TV comedies, Red Dwarf, from the BBC, which I suggest everyone to watch, if not already. Still left some films to watch, like Kill Bill 1 & 2 and Star Wars III (yeah, I know I’m one of the few humans not having watched them yet).

Linux in bars: I know, like most people involved in Free Software, how it’s been penetrating in the markets in the last few years, so finding people use it should not be a surprise. But still, when I see it “live”, I can’t stand becoming surprised and excited, like last Monday, when I saw, in a bar where I use to go, which was closed due to reforms for a few weeks, the new OS (they used Windows before) they were using in the PC that plays the music in the bar. Yeah, it was Linux, running XFCE, but don’t worry, I know the owners so I’ll be pushing for a switch to GNOME :)

Health: I’ve been visiting the dentist 3 times in the last 10 days or so, and will be going a couple times more in the next few weeks :( So, yeah, not exciting at all.

Sharing is not a crime

Tuesday, November 8th, 2005

Given the recent campaign to associate the worst crimes with piracy, a lot of people are protesting in different ways against the people in that campaign. One of the the things to protest about is that the campaign mentions that sharing and downloading music and videos from Internet is a crime, which is just totally false, at least given the current Spanish law. So, one of the best protests is what some people in Bilbao have done, consisting in downloading music from Internet in front of the SGAE (ie, the people behind the campaign) office in that city. They even called the police before starting the download, so that they could be arrested while “committing the crime”. Of course, no one showed up to arrest them.

The best about it, the photos, which made me laugh quite a bit.