Comfortably Numb

Posts for April, 2014

As I said...  19 April 2014

I am freaking awful at maintaining a blog. Also, apparently, awful at maintaining blog^W software. HEY GUESS WHAT! I fixed the borken RSS feed! Turns out that return does not do the same thing as next; who woulda thunk? So it was adding the first post in its stack, then returning out of the damn function; rather than just jumping to the next one on the

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Posts for February, 2014

Kindle Fire HD 2013  15 February 2014

An expensive lesson was learnt the hard way today, because of my ignorance. The Kindle Fire HD 2013 (Angular thing, speakers either side of the back.) is NOT a Kindle Fire HD 7, despite what its owner says, and does NOT appreciate having a KFH7 bootloader flashed to it. By which I mean it now won't boot, and doesn't appear in the list of

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Posts for December, 2013

Derp!   9 December 2013

Today's been an interesting day. Nearly got walloped on the head -- twice -- by three quarters of a tonne of steel; gained a bunch of new micro-cuts on my hands -- cuts which later ended up being marinaded in kerosene, because I had to remove some paint; and choked myself on some rather horrible fumes. (Yellow, smelt absolutely dire, and made my lungs burn.) I'm still somewhat shocked that I've managed to stick with this apprenticeship so far, because it's the longest I've ever had to do something work-like in a long time. Though I am struggling a little with the early mornings, and not having as much free time. (I'm not really very good at this 'work' stuff.)

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Posts for October, 2013

Holy Updates, Batman  21 October 2013

Yerp. Completely forgot I had this thing. A quick-ish update: I am no longer dolescum; I'm now an apprentice welder/fabricator (As of 2013-09-09 or theresabouts.) with a small, local company whose primary business is fork-lift truck attachments. So, yeah. Whoo!

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Posts for July, 2013

If…  28 July 2013

If your source of information on What The Scary Government People Are Doing comes from someone who writes like the Timecube guy, and at random flies off into a rant about how the Illuminati are using mind-control of motorcyclists and legislators to "get rid of motorcycle transport", then you're going to have a bad time. May I suggest, rather than immediately complaining about how The Scary Government People are bad, going and finding out whether or not they're actually doing what's being claimed. (...well, except the mind-control; because all you'll find if you use the Internet to try and verify that, is some rather dodgy-looking websites who all claim to know The Truth™

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Klompen. What, again?!  23 July 2013

For some reason, something stirred a sudden flurry of activity on Klompen; so a few bugs have been fixed, a few more have been added and things have improved rather nicely. So far, the changes have been small -- I'm not even going to try looking at the other branch in git where I decided to start rewriting from scratch, because that's just too overwhelming. Hell, this branch is somewhat overwhelming as it is! -- but improvements all the

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Augh, Physics  21 July 2013

This is the first 'official' mention of some code I've been working on -- in bits and pieces -- for a while now; it's a rather dumb calculator for engine stuff. No, I don't really know what -- if anything -- it's good for. Anyway! If you feed it the values for the number of cylinders, the total

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Posts for June, 2013

A Wild Certificate Appears!  12 June 2013

Good news! I now hold in my hands a certificate proclaiming that I have been awarded an IMIAL Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Principles (VRQ) Now I just have to find work before I forget everything due to my brain turning to mush from boredom.

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Posts for May, 2013

Mayday, mayday!   2 May 2013

How the hell'd it get to May already? Anyway! I've managed to complete my course, and am now just waiting on my final mark (and the resulting certificate); now I 'just' have to find a job somewhere, at one of the many garages locally. That's gonna be fun.

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Posts for March, 2013

Ugh  17 March 2013

"Ugh" about sums it up. Haven't updated this in ages; running on a severe lack of arsed. In training as a light-vehicle mechanic -- which means having to be up at 0500H M-Th so I can spend 2 hours on a bus to the training centre. Supposed to finish there with a Level 2 Diploma in Light Vehicle Maintenance on the 27th of April. We shall see. After that, I'm not

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Posts for October, 2012

Holy Crap   5 October 2012

Holy crap; I am lousy at keeping this thing updated. Still stuck in my rut; although wearing it deeper trudging back and forth to the Jobcenter. Probably going to be going back to doing warehouse work for Staffline again for giftmas; and I don't care, it's money.

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Posts for August, 2012

The workshop, she calls to me!   6 August 2012

So, some measure of success, at least; I passed the initial assessment and interview with alliance learning. Now just comes finding a company to serve as an apprentice with. I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for, really; but -- for now, at least. Although that's not necessarily an indicator of anything, with the way my interests flit -- it seems that the machine-shop is calling out to me.

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Posts for July, 2012

Cow16  19 July 2012

Since I keep feeling like I should really be adding more content to this blog-thing, I decided I should try to explain the why and wherefore of one of my projects-of-little-purpose. The project I've chosen, since I seem to be having fun with it, right now (That will probably change, when I start having to work on the boring bits of it, though.), is cow16.

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Another outburst, then silence again.  10 July 2012

Yup, still lousy at updating this damn thing. May as well make it a static page, for all the good running a script is doing. Anyway; the only things of any interest have been, in no particular order: ### Apprenticeships

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Posts for May, 2012

Still Alive (Apparently)   3 May 2012

I know, I know; I'm lousy at updates. And not just to this blog, either; everything's stagnated whilst real-life gets in the way (As is its wont.) I'm sure I'll find something else to get angry at and write a rant about, though. In the meantime, here are some tiny updates, for those who care about such things:

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Posts for February, 2012

Klompen Maturing  11 February 2012

Well, it appears that Klompen is slowly maturing. Now it has a preview of each article, an extra link or two for navigation, author profile pages (Which have been 404ing for ages, since I hadn't got around to it.) And! I got the RSS feed generation working after I broke it whilst driving the refactor tractor over the code.

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Posts for January, 2012

Democratic IRC  28 January 2012

This is the result of some pondering on IRC, regarding a form of 'properly democratic' channel management. The original idea was by Alenik; I just bashed together this document to describe how I think it would be implemented. ## Privileges The only person on the access list, if there is one, and with

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Latex to HTML (Or, How I stopped worrying and learnt to love Hevea)   4 January 2012

I write my CV in LaTex and generate all the different versions I need (PDF, plain text, MSOffice, etc.) from that one file; it makes my life so much easier. Recently, I decided I really should generate HTML output, too; and went for the first solution I thought of: "look for something named 'latex2html' in Portage". Simple.

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Posts for December, 2011

Waugh  30 December 2011

How has it made it to nearly 2012 already? I figured I had to post something, since it's been so long since my last post; got to keep up appearances. Or something. Mostly I wanted to vent a little on employment; and the apparent no-can-has-ing of. This is a barely tidied up version of a rant I threw at IRC, since... I don't know, maybe it might help to shout it, or something.

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Posts for November, 2011

Crossdev nocxx  26 November 2011

Just in case someone runs over this post, this is what you do if crossdev's stage-1 GCC compile explodes part-way through, complaining about conflicting USE options. (USE="cxx nocxx" in particular) Change

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Fun with the router  26 November 2011

Briefly thought I had a chance at setting up an IPv6 tunnel from the router, since I got root on it. (Through the long and arduous process of thinking "Huh, I wonder if the password is just the username?". Turns out, it is. The wonderful world of security on embedded devices.) Turns out, no; it doesn't have IPv6 support at all. (And I don't think I stand a chance of recompiling the kernel, repackaging it, reflashing

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Klomp! [Updated x2]  21 November 2011

Well, Klompen has now replaced Wordpress for my blog; even though I've still got a few little bugs to work out of it and a not inconsiderable list of things that need adding. An extreme solution to the spam comments I was getting fed up of, sure; but with it comes a little extra security (No active content on the server), lower server load (Which is handy if one has resource constraints on the server.), and easier cacheing.

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Klompen blog generator  13 November 2011

So, after a few days hacking, and one or two minor announcements in the odd IRC channel; I thought I'd announce another project here. Unlike most that I've brought up, this one actually: 1. exists! 2. Does what it's supposed to! Klompen: a static blog generator, so called because it's prototypical predecessor was written in Common-Lisp (Common-Lisp web-log => 'clog'), with a still-growing feature-set. Currently, it's only generating isolated pages; but the intention

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Spam   2 November 2011

Okay, I give up; I do /not/ have the patience to wade through the constant tide of spam. 100+ a week, and the spammers are ranking highest on the web-analytics. Screw this.

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Posts for October, 2011

Whelp…   6 October 2011

Well; that didn’t last long. Apparently I’m unemployed again. It’d annoy me less if they’d just come out and told me , rather than just stopping giving me shifts. Oh. Joy. :/

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Posts for September, 2011

Work, and something resembling progress  11 September 2011

So, yes; I have found work, contracted as a ‘warehouse operative’ (“Move that box from A, to B. …wait, wrong box, take that back and drag /that/ one to C.”) for Oakwood Distribution (One of Tesco’s warehouse things.). So far, I have had 2 days of work, one day of “No work today”, and silence from there onward. It’s not incredibly think-y work (Okay, it’s barely ‘think-y’ at all. Scan barcode, move box/pallet, put books on shelves.), but it involves a fair bit of walking.

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Tick  11 September 2011

Something I wrote after a late night, pondering the 10,000 year clock, and after reading some rather enjoyable stories. > The wind howls, sweeping the dust from the mountain tomb, drowning the deliberate ticks that echo under a million tons of rock. > > Tick; another barely perceptible mechanical movement, unseen in the all-encompassing darkness as the clock slices eternity with each ponderous pendulum swing. > > Tick; the metal monstrosity, safe from the ravages of the very time it pares moments from, waits…

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Posts for July, 2011

Tamber Update  23 July 2011

To start, my apologies to anyone waiting on the completion of any of my projects, especially the components libraries; my work placement is eating up all my time, which makes it a little difficult to sit down for any length of time and work on a component footprint. ;) I’m current working on clearing my project heap, so that I can get back to working on the component library; the first thing I’ll be concentrating on is the memory sockets, both schematic parts and footprints, which will be released in the normal place (The git repo). The priority list as of 2011-07-23 is as follows (Where ‘schematic’ in completion column means that I’ve completed the eeschem file, and ‘done’ means I’ve also completed the footprint for pcbnew):

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Dear Web Developers…   6 July 2011

So, the original version of this rant (since I was freshly getting over having to deal with a certain game publishing company’s shitty website, being unable to reset my password because of some of the crap I’m ranting about here.) was considerably more profanity-laden. I’ve since had a cup of tea and calmed down a little, so it’s slightly more coherent. It’s still profanity-laden, though. If you are the type of web developer who doesn’t treat everyone as if

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Posts for January, 2011

Ponderings on Microsoft's ARM announcement   6 January 2011

Warning — Warning — Warning My horrible bias shows a great deal throughout this, and most of what I say is pure conjecture. Enjoy :) Since Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would run on both x86 and ARM, I’ve been doing a little pondering. My pondering was whether or not we’d see ARM desktop CPUs suddenly become ‘viable’.

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Is this thing on?   1 January 2011

I guess I need to brush the crickets out and actually start posting again…

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Posts for September, 2010

Dead Snow   7 September 2010

Early this morning, whilst wandering about ${SUPERMARKET} (Think the UK subsiduary of Wal*Mart. Big, green; you can’t miss it.), Furaiya and I came across a zombie movie for the princely sum of three English Pounds Sterling. “Dead Snow”. You can’t really miss it, either; the front of the box certainly stands out.

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Ping!   1 September 2010

Once again, September has crept up on me. And so, since I have this blog for a reason, I thought I’d have a status update. # Harlie Harlie has been left alone for a significant amount of time (Two months, according to the git logs. Good grief, time really has flown past.), due to lack of interest. I think it’s about time I just

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Posts for August, 2010

Little things that wind me up, #12.  14 August 2010

HTML Email. Seriously, who the hell thought this up? I need a browser to parse a page of HTML so I can read the three lines of actual text that was sent. And why do I have to put up with this bullshit? Apparently so that the sender gets to use their favourite font on email. -twitch- Or so that they can put their logo and stylesheet on it. Seriously, WHY?! It’s an email, not a website!

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Little things that wind me up, #23  13 August 2010

For what little good it will do, I’d like to note my frustration with the countless people misusing "could care less" where they should be saying "couldn’t care less". It’s annoying, because those three characters completely change the meaning of what you’re saying. If you could care less, it means you do care about it; whereas if you couldn’t care less, it means you don’t care about it one jot.

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Posts for July, 2010

OpenBSD/sgi  31 July 2010

Last time I tried to install OpenBSD on the SGI Octane2, it didn’t go well. –insert flashback here, lots of swearing and possible violence– This time, installing OpenBSD 4.7, it worked wonderfully. Whatever issue caused the spurious IRQ 2 from the xbridge has been fixed, and now I can actually put it to use. Finding a use to put it to, however, is going to be more interesting. Maybe run that AI project on it…

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Free Electronic CAD woes.  21 July 2010

As I ranted about previously, I’ve switched to KiCAD after hitting some frustrations with EAGLE. However, KiCAD does not have quite the array of component libraries that EAGLE does. One well-recommended library is a collection of all the EAGLE libs run through a well-recommended converter script. Unfortunately, it seems that the less-used parts (The SO-DIMM socket, for example), are horribly horribly mangled. The well-recommended script also seems to have destroyed the library I created for the Loongson (Which was my first

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Posts for June, 2010

Principle of Least Astonishment [Edit x1]  23 June 2010

Okay, web developers, It’s time we had a chat. You know that little thing you keep doing with password fields, autocomplete="off"? Yes, that violates the Principle of Least Astonishment. It’s also frustrating and (believe it or not) makes things less secure. If I tell my browser to save passwords, I want it to (surprise, surprise) save passwords. What right do you have to override my preference? This misguided, halfarsed attempt at security is making my

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Entropy Attacks  23 June 2010

With the (start of the) addition of user management in the bot, it looks like I’m beginning to get somewhere with the bot. However, I am beginning to dislike working on some of the code because of the state it’s in; yes, I know it’s my fault it’s such a mess! In my defence, this is mainly due to how parts of it have been developed. As I didn’t intend for it to grow to the point it is now, there was no real plan (It was originally meant to be a simple

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Work resumes on the Perl monstrosity  18 June 2010

Picked up work on Harlie again, and finally created the module that’s been missing and breaking the fresh-out-of-vcs bot. (Anyone inconvenienced by this, let me know by email and I’ll give you your money back. :p ) Still on the whiteboard are the changes to build in multithreading; working plugins; user and permission controls and so forth. I’m spending this afternoon working on the user and permission side of things.

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Tinkering with the theme.  13 June 2010

You may notice a few issues with the theme of the blog, such as things not lining up any more. This is because I made an attempt to change it to variable-width, and the way I’ve done it is a tad fragile. However, the issues are entirely cosmetic (Which is good.), so the changes are for the better in my opinion. :)

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Non-free software frustration   9 June 2010

One of my hobbies is hardware design (I quite enjoy it, but I don’t have the qualifications (Or the confidence) to do it commercially.), which I use CadSoft EAGLE for. Unfortunately, the Evaluation version has some limitations that make it impossible to use for the project I’m looking at. I can create the schematic very easily, but I cannot lay out the board because the free version is limited to a board that is far too small to fit a connector

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Ruining the game   6 June 2010

I often enjoy playing a nice violent video game (Although, due to lack of money, I only have two. (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (The one I play the most) and Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (Don’t play this as much, due to a few issues I have with it.)), usually to unwind or be somewhat social with friends (Most of whom are separated from me geographically.). However, I am getting more and more frustrated with the sheer number of cheaters on Xbox Live. What makes this worse is that using a console rather than a PC, cheating is supposed to be

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Posts for May, 2010

A rant.   8 May 2010

This is aimed at no one person in particular. * I am not psychic. If you need help, ASK FOR IT; don’t get pissy

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Blogging and Emacs   1 May 2010

If you can read this, it means I didn’t screw up setting up the "blogging from emacs" capability. Yes, I can blog from emacs, now I have yet another excuse to stay in this OS^WEditor. It seems I keep finding things about this strange, extendible editor that I never knew were possible; or I never expected to see in an editor. Although I should have been tipped off that this was going to get a little silly by the fact that it has a mode for tetris.

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Posts for April, 2010

Programming issues.  30 April 2010

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’ve not worked on Harlie for a while. This is because (as I rediscovered when I returned to attempting to work on it) it’s driving me insane trying to work out how to do what I want without reverting to horrible, horrible (and possibly incredibly pessimal) hacks; or even being unable to do things at all. For example, the commands side of the bot… I intended for this to be easily extendible, so that plugins (inconsistently referred to as

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Posts for March, 2010

Amusing thought of the day…  27 March 2010

Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions. Therefore it follows that, if there is no porn of something, it does not exist. There is no porn (at least, at time of writing.) of The Game. Therefore it follows that The Game does not exist, ergo you are not playing it, and thus cannot lose said game. QED. (Anyone wants to prove me wrong, go ahead. I don’t play the game

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Things that make me sad…  15 March 2010

seeing 03:58:57 up 97 days, 16:06, 1 user, load average: 0.04, 0.03, 0.00 just before you reboot the machine to deal with a hardware failure. :(

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One step forward… [Updated]   6 March 2010

Updated x1 Earlier this morning, I got OpenBSD 4.6 to boot on the Octane2. It installs fine and boots from the hard-drive as well as can be expected. I get all the way to logging in and trying to ping another machine before I notice the problem. It has no network. This is rather irritating. I shall explore further, and report my findings.

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Status update, Hal^WHarlie   3 March 2010

No, I’m not dead yet. Nor do I have a job yet. So I don’t really have an excuse for not updating my blog in a while, other than I’ve not really had anything to say. (Y’know, not that that stops a lot of folk, but…) And now, for the actual ‘content’ of this post: # Harlie ## Documentation Updates

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Posts for January, 2010

Loading/Unloading POE::Component::PluginManager Plugins  22 January 2010

I’m using Perl’s PoCo::PluginManager module for plugins in Harlie’s plugins and unfortunately, whilst the documentation on CPAN covers all the code necessary for a plugin, it does not give an example of how to write the code for the application side (E.g. The program loading/unloading a plugin.), and it seems the author has gone missing. So, I have written an example to help anyone who hasn’t managed to figure it out. (It took me a day of dismantling the module to figure out how it worked, I know, I’m slow.)

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New unstable branch in the git repo  21 January 2010

As the changes I’m going to be making to Harlie are going to be very disruptive whilst I break things in an effort to clean up the code, I’ve created a branch for unstable versions of Harlie. This is the ‘fragile’ branch (so called because it will be very easy to break.), and may not even run at times. (So, you have been warned.) It will be used as the construction site and testing ground of the following changes:

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Harlie Status Update   7 January 2010

And now, it’s time for an irregular status update on what’s happening with Harlie, that damned bot. I’ve fixed all but one of the bugs in the bug-tracker, and have been updating the wiki (Once I scraped all the spam out of it.). However, in the process of trying to use heap memory in the commands (To save copying data around everywhere when there’s no real need to do so.), I discovered that the way I’d originally written the commands parser

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Yay, Snow!   5 January 2010

For the first time in years, I don't hate the snow. How much of this is my inner-child still 'squee'-ing at me having gone out and shook the snow out of the tree (onto my head, naturally.), I don't know.I also have some pictures of the snow, ranging from 0718 this morning to 1030-ish. The early ones don't look that good, but the later ones came out quite nicely (Although, they did start getting bland even later on.) A favourite with folks who I've linked to these images is this:

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Posts for April, 2009

Lenovo SL Laptop drivers  22 April 2009

(lets try that again, I accidentally tabbed out of the textbox without realising it and hit backspace, losing the post.) I bought a Lenovo Thinkpad SL300.1 not long after Xmas, preinstalled with Ubuntu 8.10. (Which I installed Gentoo over, Ubuntu just frustrates me.). Unfortunately, the volume keys, various hotkeys and the bluetooth wouldn't work, and I was beginning to get rather

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