Archive for the ‘code4lib2007’ Category


Kittens… or Beer?


Kittens... or Beer?

The code4lib 2007 cage match.

(Click the image for full detail.)


code4lib: 2007-03-01 (part the second)


Here’s what it was like to be me in #code4lib this afternoon:

<miker_c4lc>    {#code4lib} sylvar++
<miker_c4lc>    {#code4lib} sylvar++
<royt_>         {#code4lib} sylvar++
<royt_>         {#code4lib} sylvar: don't make me get all medieval on you ;-)
<anarchivist>   {#code4lib} sylvar++
<mmmmmRob>      {#code4lib} sylvar++

Those last two were from my suggestion that “The Department of Homeland Security uses six threat levels: low, guarded, elevated, high, severe, and Roy Tennant Is Ped Off.” We were doing a bit of a Chuck Norris on him because that’s what jesters do for kings.

Other popular statements:

“It’s easier to get forgiveness than to ask permission. It’s better not to apologize for reverse engineering and instead teach the vendor a better way.”

“Vendor-provided software is modular. The vendors just don’t know it yet.”


code4lib: 2007-03-01 (part the first)


I’ve enjoyed the day so far, mostly; Jodi joined me for the keynote, since yesterday’s keynote had been nontechnical. Today’s keynote was quite geeky, which delighted me and bored her. To make up for it, I took her out to lunch off-campus.

Here begins the only bad experience of the conference: the Wild Wing Cafe. We had hoped to go to the Bluebird Cafe, but the cold and rain drove the usually contented pedestrians of Athens to use every blessed space on the block. By the time we found a space in front of the courthouse, only a block away, we were too hungry to wander back. That’s a shame. The health department rated it 80 (the Grit’s is 100), and I’m starting to think that means “they only pick wings off the floor and put them back on the buffet 20% of the time”, because the kitchen treated me badly.

Sorry, guys, but when I send a quesadilla back because I loathe sour cream, and it comes back ten minutes later with traces of scraped-off sour cream AND with guacamole that’s visibly darker than the last time I saw it, I’m not going to trust your kitchen enough to eat anything that comes back the third time. So for those of you (almost two dozen, I think) who followed my trail to the Grit, please take this as a “strong avoid”.

Sadly, I missed Dan’s talk on ZeroConfOpenMetaSearch (I heard the closing applause), but the Atom/ReST and Library-in-a-Box talks have been quite nifty. More later, I think.

A cultural hint: Tonight at 8pm, there’s a dance concert a block or two away from the hotel. For $12, it’s likely to be an excellent value. I hope to be able to convince Jodi to go, though if the weather is sufficiently dismal, she might end up convincing me not to go.


Alternate Freenode port: 8000


This advice comes from Dan Scott:

Looks like those at code4libcon who are blocked from port 6667 can access on port 8000 (assuming that you have successfully logged into your privileged account with UGA).

The crazy login interface at, by the way, requires you to:

enter the email address you signed up for the conference with
enter CODE4LIB as the password
get a “password must be changed error”
click “Change password”
wait one minute, then enter your new password and password confirmation

It took me about five attempts before I got the timing and set of steps right. But I eventually got it to work.



code4lib wireless FAQ


I’m sitting in the Events Management office with the Georgia Center’s network specialist; we’re working together to identify the problems on the wireless network.

UGA required the Georgia Center to install a Bluesocket appliance, which as we’ve learned is a bit flaky under the load of a hundred geeks. The Georgia Center can open up firewall holes for us as far as that goes, but UGA’s network also has egress filters and intrusion prevention systems that are causing havoc for us.

Here’s a gedankenexperiment for you: Pretend you’re a heuristic device trying to identify network security problems. You’re seeing dozens of connections from the wireless network to port 6667. Would you guess that it was more likely a bot infection or the sudden convergence of a hundred geeks?

Another problem we’ve identified: During a large download, somewhere between 2-5MB, your connection will freeze up. The only thing you can do is log out and log back in. Using a download manager might help a little bit, but it won’t be fun. There’s no solution for this yet; personally, I’ve given up on downloading those so-called “urgent” security updates from Microsoft, since the network security devices seem hell-bent on preventing me from doing so.

And then there’s Trend Micro’s HouseCall. Have you been silently redirected to their site? That’s Bluesocket’s default behavior when something goes wrong, apparently. When you see that, it means Bluesocket has had a little accident and needs to be changed.

Log out and log back in. If you closed that login window, or it was blocked automatically, release and renew your DHCP connection.

Hey, we’re a bunch of geeks — can’t someone make a Firefox add-on that will automatically log us out and back in again every 60 seconds?

One final note: The network technician, Robin, is going to be joining the code4lib list to post announcements as the Georgia Center team keeps working on this. Be nice to him — he’s one of our number, and he’s frustrated and embarrassed by the mandated, but nonfunctional, Bluesocket appliance. I’m sure we’ll help him in any way we can.


code4lib: 2007-02-28


I think I couldn’t have designed a more frustrating wireless network if I tried.

As far as I can tell, I have to log out and log back in after every 2MB of data. And why would that be a problem? Well, I use this laptop infrequently. Symantec’s latest virus definition file is about 15MB. And then there are all the Microsoft patches.

OK, maybe a data quota makes sense in some cases. But shouldn’t certain sites be exempt? (And shouldn’t users with ‘elevated access’ also be exempt? It’s not like I’m anonymous on this network.)

The revolution will not be blogged. Not at this rate, anyhow.


code4lib: 2007-02-27


I arrived tonight with my wife; we’ve settled in. I got to meet Dan Chudnov; once I told him my name, he delightedly asked “, right?” What a memory on that guy!

Wi-fi at the hotel is speedy, but limited to web access. I haven’t found a way to connect to the IRC channel, even through the web interface. I’m sure someone else will share the secret with me, though.

UPDATE: The secret is to bang the rocks together, guys use the Ethernet port, which proves I’m a hotel guest and not just a Wi-Fi freeloader. I seem to have full access now.