Some time ago, I began working on packaging presage for Debian. My motivations were:
to make presage as easily and readily accessible as possible: getting presage into Debian certainly achieves widespread distribution, as it make it available to Debian distribution itself, as well as the numerous Debian derivatives (Ubuntu arguably being the most well-known)
to learn about packaging software for Debian: I was curious and interested about the policies and processes adopted by Debian developers to package software into the distribution, and I wanted to learn the tools and procedures for myself
to contribute something back to Debian: I've used Debian as my main OS for years (after a brief initial stint with Slackware 1.2.3), and I thought it high time to contribute some time and work to the distribution and the community of developers behind it
I am glad to announce that presage has been accepted into Debian Sid. presage-0.8.6-1 was built, signed, and uploaded on Sat, 6 August 2011.
I always thought that VMWare Server is a great piece of software. It is a fast and convenient way to run my soothsayer builds on a Windows platform without actually having to get dirty running it on my (real) hardware.
However, it has a couple of shortcomings that I can no longer live with:
it is not free as in freedom (although it is free as in beer)
it does not work with the latest kernels (its kernel modules do not build with the latest kernel sources)
Not to fear, my friend, for QEMU and VirtualBox are excellent alternatives to VMWare!
Nowadays you see many people tapping and scribbling at their new fancy PDAs while waiting for the bus or commuting on train. These new personal digital assistants come with all the bell and whistles: bright color screens, generous memory, good applications, etc.
If you though that I am listing all the upsides of these devices to lead up to the point when I point out the inevitable downsides, you'd be right. However, you'd be wrong to believe that the downsides I thought of were that these devices don't run Linux. As a matter of fact, many of them do.
On my way to work this morning, two seemingly unrelated ideas crossed my mind and created a desire to learn how to do something new.
Both ideas originated from the circumstances I found myself in. I was sitting on a bench. It was cold and windy. I had a very bad cold, a very sore throat, and a runny nose. I was waiting for a delayed train to work. I had nothing to do but wait.
The first thought that crossed my mind was that time spent commuting is wasted.
The power and flexibility of Debian GNU/Linux never ceases to amaze me.
My root file system suffered from an unrecoverable partial failure yesterday. That resulted in a number of files in the /sbin directory being inaccessible. I know, with all the non vital directories in a file system, why is it that the most critical ones get hit the most?
Well, better /sbin than /home, right?
Anyway, the first thing I did was to boot off Knoppix and back up the entire contents of the hard drive, partition by partition. I used a combination of tar and ssh, partimage, rsync, and good old dd.
"What, you did not have backups already?" - I hear you ask. Well, you know, real men do not keep backups :-)