Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beinjing Pollution? -- Cape Town

So Beijing has a lot of pollution... I believe it's pretty bad... but Cape Town's is pretty bad too if there is no wind blowing it all around.

That part there you can almost see... that is Table Mountain. There is a whole lot of mountain that you cannot see in the picture.

If you look carefully at this picture, you can see a mountain range (Stellenbosch's surroundings) on the right of the image... There is also, if you zoom about 300% onto the middle of the image, you'll be able to see a hint of it still there... but to the left of it it's totally obscured.

Cape Town is set to host quite a lot of games of the 2010 Fifa World Cup here, and if the Olympic committees had issues there, similar issues could be raised here.

We in Cape Town also need to get our act together in terms of pollution.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Card shark

My cousin tossed this card about 5m across the room (missing his target by about 50cm) only to have it peg into the banana. Pretty sweetly too. I found it a little bit frightning and visions of bullseye in daredevil came to mind, but cool enough to share.
Yes... We ate the banana afterwards.

Friday, August 08, 2008


When I drove to work this morning, I was driving behind a guy with a bakkie, with 2 dogs in the back. They were loving it. I know that Gary Larson in his Farside comics often thinks about what it would be like in our world had dogs (or cows, or flies, or other animals) been just like us --- almost.

Anyway, what fascinated me was (as dogs always do) how they wanted to keep their faces in the "wind". I suspect it has something to do with the wind otherwise bothering them in their ears, but maybe it just gives them a sense of freedom.

Another thing that fascinated me, is the fact that dogs, even though they do not really invent new technologies like cars, understand quite in real terms, the implications of these technologies. They know not to run in front of the car, or not to jump off the car while it's moving.

The last thing that fascinated me, is the interspecies relationships. Dogs and cats interact. Birds and hippo's have sybiotic relationships. But is there really times in the wild where species interact to such a way that we can really call it friendships? Interspecie relationships thus far is extremely rare... So two thumbs up for everyone of us with an interspecie relationship! :-)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

What linux *must* change

I don't want this to be a tech blog, and it will never be... Anyway...

I've been an advanced computer user (programming, modifying, etc) for more than 20 years now. I've worked on Apple II, DOS (from 3.0-the end), several Windowses (95,98,2000,NT,XP,Vista), and several linux distros (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Red Hat, Gentoo). And there is this part on it that totally gets me confused and not wanting to explore...


Hello? Can't we use a "little" more descriptive names?

/bin Ok, so by now I know this is binaries... but which binaries? I'll tell you one thing... ALL the binaries are not there. (Also please note... not a recycle bin - shouldn't be "emptied".)
/boot is good. Like it keep it.
/cdrom... well, it's good enough on it's own... almost like D:\
/dev devices maybe? This isn't perhaps the development libraries? (I'm trying to convey a point...)
/etc well, this is where it all started. What is /etc? What's the difference between that and /usr... and /usr and /home? I've tried to explore it, but it's got about 2 gizillion "files" in it... Windows has "Program files" where the space messed everything up for the first 2 or three years... but one thing I can say is that it's descriptive.
/home I know now. It's good, and can stay. But what is /usr then?
/initrd I have no idea. Something with initialization. But it's not part of /boot.
/lib This I know is libraries. Thinking of it as a literal library may make it easier to accept the total levels of chaos in there... (sorted chaos, but to the untrained eye, it is chaos) *phew* and don't get me started with the cryptic library names.
/lost+found Well, at least it's descriptive. I have no idea how to use it... or what even goes in there. But it's descriptive.
/media This makes sense, and wasn't there years ago. It's a good addition. And in a way makes /cdrom unneccasary.
/mnt GRRRR... I know now (ok for about 12years now) what is a "mounted" device. But we have media now thank you... /mnt or /media... why both?
/opt I dunno... I think it's new from the old days, and I assume it's options. Why doesn't it then go into /home?
/proc Again... No idea. Procedures? Processes? No idea, never visited there.
/root Okay... I know what / is... /root? I assume it's root's /home folder?
/sbin ... Uhmmm /bin is binaries... sbin? No idea.
/srv This one is new to Hardy. I assume it's server stuff. Dunno, don't care.
/sys *sigh* what is in here? Must be "system" stuff... but what isn't covered in /dev /opt /proc /boot /initrd?
/tmp Now here's one I can identify and understand. We don't even need an "e" because the data is so temporary we don't have time for the "e". So /tmp can stay, I'll be forever grateful.
/usr Well... see the comments on /home and /etc
/var No idea... Variables?

A fresh windows (vista, XP, etc... /etc?) install has about 5-8 "folders" in the root. It "hides" all the stuff that I don't want to know about. And it all looks clean and understandable.

Please Mr. Shuttleworth or Mr. Torvalds, please, please can we make this part a bit easier?