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[personal profile] terriko
The scare quotes are because neither of these things should have been accomplishments at all, since they should have just worked. Since they didn't, though, I'm blogging for posterity with links to the things that helped me solve the problems.



1. I tried to install new RAM in my laptop, but it made it slower. Normally I'd assume bad RAM, but this was already my second batch. Turns out I needed to update my firmware so my older unibody aluminium macbook could use 8gb. Said firmware helpfully told me it would stop the cd drive from making a noise on bootup, so of COURSE it will fix my RAM problem. Thanks for that, Apple. Oh well, at least I knew (from a friend with the same era machine) that 8gb should work and thus I didn't give up.

It was a very strange experience with the 8gb without the firmware installed, though. Everything would be super fast for a little while, then slow to a crawl, so suddenly it was like typing to a 300baud modem. (which likely dates me... Let's just say it was taking several seconds for each *character* to appear.) I wondered if it was some sort of swap failure, since it seemed to happen once it used a certain amount of RAM, and I wasn't far off: it was failing after addressing 6 of 8 gb.

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2. My local backup drive appears to be dead. This is not a huge problem, as I have a tendency to back things up to quite a few places and it was only one of them. The important stuff is backed up in several places, so it's really only old hard drive cruft and students' marks from years past that I stand to lose if it can't be recovered. It's more freeing than upsetting to lose such data, in a way.

However, this *is* the local drive I use for photo work, which contained my convenient-to-use local copy of all the digital photos I have, and I wanted to do some photo work because I now have 8gb of working ram and it would have been nice to process some photos and use those 8gb.

Once upon a time, I'd macho it up and do data recovery myself, but I didn't care that much about the data and don't feel like I have anything to prove so when John said he had the tools, I left it in his care and he's seeing if he can get data off the drive. I have solved my problem with the application of my credit card and a new, larger drive will be arriving by Wednesday, whereupon I can spend a lot of time copying files in order to spend time modifying them. I wonder if I'm ever going to get that backlog of photos processed, but at least it'll be *possible* again.

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3. I managed to get the mailman 3 code checked out on my laptop again (I'm a lousy dev, but there is a story as to why I didn't have the 3.0 code on hand). This was a battle of epic proportions for no good reason: in the process of trying to get my bloody RAM to work, I'd upgraded to OS X 10.7 (Lion) and apparently bzr and Lion are not pals although really, Bazaars and Lions seem like they should go together in some sort of children's novel logic.

Anyhow, I digress. bzr turns out to not work even if I force it to use python2.6 instead of 2.7. And the alternate solution there, which involves reinstalling bzr, also doesn't work. Because it says I don't have python 2.6 installed. Yes, same error, new issue. Let's be clear: I do have python 2.6 install. I could just symlink /usr/bin/python but I'm not sure if anything else I've got here is using 2.7 so I tried to install bzr from source instead. It also didn't work. So I'm now running bzr from the source directory, where it works fine. This implies to me that I probably need to copy some libraries somewhere or update my path, but I'm cranky and this works for now though it's throwing an error about not using all extensions. LA LA LA I'm Not Listening.

Then launchpad decided it didn't like my identity, which might be because it was trying to use the wrong one, and darned if I could remember how to make it use the right .ssh id_dsa key-thing. Thankfully, someone wrote a lovely piece about using different ssh keys for different services that included bzr, so that made my life easier. Except that it turns out that I didn't have the key named id_rsa_launchpad actually attached to my launchpad account. And once I did, it turned out that I no longer remembered the keyphrase associated with it anyhow. So, uh, yeah. New key, new passphrase, and we're good to go.

... except that I'm tired and cranky and don't feel like solving any more problems, which is kinda core to doing interesting hacking in my opinion.

Which is a pity, because symbolically, doing more open source work today would have been ideal. It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, my first specifically USian holiday while I'm here and one that seems appropriate to use for community service. Plus, I heard the sad news that well-known and well-loved Mailman developer Tokio Kikuchi has passed away. He was one of the friendly, hardworking developers that made me want to contribute to Mailman, and he will be sorely missed by many, though not all of them may know it.

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4. Well, I was going to stop there, but thinking about Tokio made me feel sad and a little pathetic for not having gotten further today, so I figured I'd at least finish the steps in the 5 minute guide to getting the Mailman web UI running. Which for most people, really does seem to be pretty fast. But nooo, life wouldn't be that easy for me today. I've discovered that the install scripts for Mailman *also* don't play well with python 2.7 and I'm starting to wonder if I shouldn't have just changed that python symlink and suffer the consequences.

But then I got distracted, because it turns out that upgrading mac OS X has yet another unintended side effect that broke the scripts: I no longer have gcc installed. WTF, Apple? I am wishing that I had a linux dev laptop and starting to see the appeal of the hp ultrabook that my sister is covetting lately... Seriously, I *now* understand that xcode is os specific and I have to get it through the app store, but I *don't* understand why they couldn't have seen that I had it installed, thought "hey, this might be a dev machine!" and either upgraded it too or printed a message. I mean, they obviously wrote the code to uninstall it, so...

(My friend Brian points out that Apple is allergic to dialogs and probably can't script an app-store purchase without forcing you to log in. He is no doubt right, but this does not make me any more impressed.)

Anyhow, because xcode is taking forever to install, and I can't finish those steps without it, I'm guessing I'm morally free to give up for the evening. Wish I felt a little more *actually* accomplished, but I guess it's moving forwards and I'll have an environment set up on my laptop again soon.

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5. The motivation for the dev environment, BTW, is that we're talking coding sprint at pycon and I really really want to go, assuming I can get the time off work and can actually hack from this machine. So, uh, bonus motivation for temporary pain!

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6. In conclusion, I am not very impressed with my upgrade to Mac OS X Lion, which (a) didn't solve the problem I wanted it to solve (I upgraded in hopes of fixing the RAM issue) and (b) caused a bunch of other problems I didn't need (python2.6, gcc).



I'm tired and cranky, but I'm determined to win this... tomorrow.

Also, I made myself cookies, so that's something.

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