Everybody needs a Level 43 Tickle-Mimic

ProgressQuest!The display gets a bit mixed up under Linux, but Progress Quest is still delightful.

It also has some of the best Release Notes ever:

  Changes for version 6.1:

     * I really just don't remember.
     * I also don't see how it could matter much.

Fetch me a teratoma!

how to fix the annoying Ubuntu/Debian XML::SAX install problems

Debian and its derived distributions have a policy about packages not being able to modify the configuration of other packages. While this might generally seem like a good idea, for the TIMTOWTDI world of Perl, this causes problems.

The problem arises if you have installed Perl XML modules from both CPAN and the Debian (or Ubuntu, or whatever) repositories. Debian’s modifications subtly break the XML::SAX module, on which most Perl XML modules (including the brilliant XML::Simple) depend. If you’ve been naughty and used a module from CPAN, Debian gets its knickers in a knot, and won’t configure or run anything remotely related to libxml-sax-perl.

If you get the error Can’t locate object method “save_parsers_debian” via package “XML::SAX” at /usr/bin/update-perl-sax-parsers line 90, your system is affected. You might get the clue that any of your Perl XML handlers freak out and fail in weird ways.

Here’s a method (there’s always more than one, of course)  to fix it. This was combined from a couple of sources, each of which was on the right track but didn’t entirely work. Actually, the first might’ve been right on the money, but my hiragana’s a bit ropey …

  1. make sure you’ve got your system up to date with apt-get or aptitude.
  2. sudo cpan CPANPLUS (this will ask you lots of questions, to which you should almost always answer with the default)
  3. sudo cpanp -u XML::SAX (this takes quite a while, and produces no output for most of it)
  4. LC_ALL=C sudo apt-get install --reinstall libxml-sax-perl (the LC_ALL=C might not be strictly necessary, but it worked for me)

You must remember never to pretend to be smarter than the Debian maintainers, and suitably chastened, may now return to your normal OpenSSH patching activities …

strike the (un)happy medium

We have to fight it. If not, we will go back to the Dark Ages, where we will be persecuted and prosecuted.

— a UK spiritualist, complaining that psychic services now fall under consumer protection legislation. Emphasis mine.

to GO Transit

(who managed to make my train 11 minutes late, then had it overrun the platform:)

1.) Rent a brewery.
2.) Tell people.

I’m sure, though, that you couldn’t even follow these simple instructions for arranging a piss-up in a brewery.

this is me with my excited face on. Oh wait, no it’s not.

Tories announce $1.5-billion renewable energy plan. Which would have been nice if it hadn’t just been the old Liberal WPPI program (which the Tories cancelled) renamed, and claimed as a whole new thing. And there was highly qualified rejoicing.

WindShare: new site, stopped turbine

Windshare has a new website, which is nice. Unfortunately, the headline image shows a stopped turbine:

new windshare websiteIt’s kind of apt, given that the turbine’s been out of service for about a month. I liked the old days, when the turbine worked but the website was kinda crappy.

Whether Or Not We Care, It Shows!

Just finished Laura Penny‘s snarky, angry, funny, clever Your Call Is Important To Us, on the pervasiveness of bullshit. This is basically a book that Bill Hicks never got to write. It’s delightful.

(the subject’s a line from the ever-hilarious Fertnel Snak Food Corporation, btw).