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Andrew Pollock


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Monday, 03 March 2008

Living the dream

I first heard about Jon Oxer's home automation setup when he visited Google last year to give a tech talk (heh, that's right, I introduced him).

After reading this latest article on his house, I've come to realise that he's implementing pretty much every cool thing I wanted to do when I get around to building the "dream house" (except I'm not too keen to go microchipping myself).

The main difference is Jon's actually electronically inclined, whereas I have all the ideas, but lack the ability to go hack them together myself.

So many things I'd like to learn, so little time to learn them...

[21:18] [geek] [permalink]

And today's hardy uninstallability is brought to you by...


I'm struggling to understand, from a casual inspection, what the change that introduced this is trying to achieve.

So it was trying to fix this bug, which is actually in a completely separate package.

I guess the first thing is to understand what this net-update mode for apt-key is.

Aha. That appears to be an Ubuntu-ism: AptArchiveKeySignatures

Anyway, having looked at the /etc/cron.daily/apt script that ships with Ubuntu's apt package, I fail to see how the changes to ubuntu-keyring address bug 192074. The net_update() function of apt-key is still going to spit out stuff.

Oh wait, I see. The cron job will still spit out output when it actually decides that something should have been done. The presence of /var/lib/apt/keyrings/ubuntu-archive-keyring.gpg will mean the stat call will return a valid mtime, so more often than not, because the mtime is unchanged, the cron job won't feel the need to actually do anything that produces output. I guess it's reasonable to produce output on the odd occasion that a key update actually occurs. Fair enough.

I'm not sure I'd be using mtimes to make the decision though. I'd be more inclined to use the MD5 checksum of the files, but that's just me.

So guess I've now had less of a casual inspection, and understand what the change was trying to achieve. It just failed miserably by not ensuring the directory existed. Oh well, patch supplied.

[17:38] [ubuntu] [permalink]

New Ubuntu category

So I started an Ubuntu category in my blog a while ago, the intention being to document the trials and tribulations of trying to derive (and I use the term loosely) another distro.

The hope has been to get it added to Planet Ubuntu's feed, where I'd like to engage in some discourse with the Ubuntu development community, and perhaps challenge some of aspects of how they do things.

I'm not feeding it to Planet Debian, since me blathering on about Ubuntu's foibles is probably not of interest to that audience.

[17:07] [ubuntu] [permalink]