Thursday, February 23, 2006

Here is a link to a monitoring centre's analysis of the tremor - it seems to have hit the town of Espungabera (not EspungaberO as the BBC Report says), just north of the Save River, about 1000km north of Maputo. Turns out it was 7.5 on the Richter scale

(0) comments
The strangest thing just happened! My head is still reeling from it!. I was sitting here typing away at the PC in the corner of my room, when all of a sudden I started to feel woozy. But after a moment I realised that I was fine, that it was not me but the rest of the world that was woozing. The chair swayed beneath me, as did the buildings outside the window. I looked up for some reference that I was not mad, and sure enough the lamp swaying from the ceiling was swinging like a pendulum. I woke Neill up and he had felt it too. I went downstairs and onto the street, and people were bemusedly coming onto their verandahs, looking about them. I shouted up to one "what was that?". "An earth tremor", he replied calmly. "But since when do you get EARTH TREMORS in Maputo", I replied. "Oh, never" he said cheerily, "this is the first time".

Curiouser and curiouser. I shall try and sleep now, with half an eye out for the house collapsing. Hopefully there will be some news about it on the interweb tomorrow. "Geologists notice massive fuck-off faultline just west of Madagascar, that they just 'missed' before", or something like that.

(0) comments

Friday, February 17, 2006

Going through a massive heatwave here, interspersed with sudden burst of super-heavy rain, which floods most streets very quickly as the drainage is terrible. The other day we had to give up going to work in the morning as we got within about 500 metres and the main street was literally a river, over a foot deep and full of floating, nameless things. But most days (and nights) it is just sheer thick blanket heat. I am definitely more used to it than when I first got here, though.

An interesting brief here by the Oxford Research Group, about the potential consequences of a US-led airstrike on Iran. They quote an earlier study of theirs from 2002, warning about the aftermath of an Iraq invasion, and at least the quoted parts were very prescient. Basically the conclusion is the same as any common-sense one "don't do it!". Really, as long as long as the current hypocritical Nuclear Weapons regime stands....
"we, the guys who have already got Nukes, can keep them and even make more. Oh yeah, and our mates like Israel as well, who pretend they don't have them but make sure everyone knows damn well they do - well they can keep 'em too, being our mates'n'all.
But YOU f*ckers - who didn't manage to get hold of them by the start of the Cold War - well that's just tough - you CAN'T have them and we'll beat you if you try. And not just beat you - shame you and call you terrorist-lovers and everything."
...well this kind of problem is not going to go away. "Nuclear Disarmament starts at home!"

(0) comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Operating system news, in one of the projects I am involved with we are switching over from one version of Linux (Mandriva, formerly Mandrake), to another - Ubuntu.

Why? Well, Mandrake was never perfectly smooth around the edges, especially when it came to upgrades. And the last upgrade was a dreadful experience and left the guinea-pig PC in question limping along with several annoying problems that the previous version didn't have. To finish off the "push" factors, Mandriva's customer support is terrible - it seems they have spent all their energy on merging Mandrake (France) and Conectiva (Brazil), and sending endless promotional emails instead of listening to their customers. I am a paid-up member of their "club", for about USD80 a year, but my several posts and emails asking for help went unanswered.

So we went for Ubuntu as a putative replacement, and it seems to be running along nicely so we are going to roll it out to several other machines, including a spyware-crippled windows box. What were the pull factors? Firstly, it aims to be an easy-to-install version - something which Mandriva claimed but never quite acheived in my view (an install which switches off your network card for no reason does not count in my book!). Secondly, it has received a lot of good crits. Thirdly, it is made round the corner in South Africa, which means there are quite a lot of Ubuntu-savvy people just across the border.

(0) comments

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?