Autarchy of the Private Cave

Tiny bits of bioinformatics, [web-]programming etc

    I want a physical QWERTY keyboard Android

    27th October 2014

    My motivation is simple, and Kevin Michaluk had nicely written down the benefits of physical keyboards: Why there’s still demand in 2014 for phones with physical keyboards. For many years I’ve been using Nokia E71, and now, after switching to a screen-only Android 4.4.2 device, I dearly miss the physical keyboard (and the compact, durable metal phone body, too, as well as week-long battery life…).

    I really hope that phone manufacturers offer something that:

    • is about the size of E71, possibly slightly higher/wider/thicker
    • has a physical QWERTY keyboard, either E71-style or a slider
    • runs Android Lollipop :P
    • has decent (but not necessarily the best) smartphone hardware (5-8+MP camera, 1.4+GHzCPU, 1.5+GB RAM, 8+GB internal storage, etc)
    • has a good screen, e.g. HD (~4.3-4.7″) for a slider-keyboard version, or half-HD for Nokia-style keyboard
    • is minimally waterproof (can withstand heavy rain for 30 minutes)

    Reasonable price would also be welcome…

    Posted in Links | No Comments »

    Olaf Sundermeyer’s myth: right-extremists rule in Ukraine

    20th October 2014

    Note: this post was written on the 18th-23rd of May 2014, but was not published at that time. I am publishing it now, after minor edits of tenses used. I think that after Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on the 24th of August 2014 it is absolutely clear that any prior publications regarding “right extremists” in Ukraine were either paid-for Russian propaganda, or simply insufficient analysis of the situation. It is still worth publishing this short text; consider this a cure for minds with only minor propaganda poisoning.

    On Sunday, the 18th of May, the sad 70th anniversary of Crimean Tatars deportation by the Soviet regime, in Saarbrucken journalist Olaf Sundermeyer was giving a lecture titled “Ukraine: Die rechte Freiheit – Nationalismus und Rechtsextremismus” ( http://www.a3wsaar.de/aktuelles/details/d/2014/04/15/ukraine-die-rechte-freiheit-nationalismus-und-rechtsextremismus/ , or as a PDF).

    I was unable to attend it, but looking at the abstract I felt the need to analyze and criticize the viewpoint Olaf presented. To do so, I went sentence by sentence through the abstract from the link above, picking items I cannot agree with, and providing my arguments.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Life, Society, Ukraine | No Comments »

    Mini-review: offline navigators for Android

    18th October 2014

    Sygic, Waze, Osmand, Navfree or Navigator: which is a better offline navigation solution for your Android?
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Software | No Comments »

    Do not use Hermes Paketversand for packages delivery in Germany

    2nd September 2014

    Note: this is a rant. Unless you are specifically interested in the subject (keywords: delivery, hermes, failure, amazon), you should not read this.

    I buy a lot on amazon.de – this is easy and convenient. Most of the time it also works good, with items arriving as promised or (mostly) earlier. Sometimes there are minor problems, but nothing worth remembering or mentioning. However, my latest order, “delivered” by Hermes Paketversand, was such a spectacular failure, that it deserves a blog post.

    My item was expected to arrive on Tuesday, the 5th of August. In the evening of that day we found an important message from Hermes in our mailbox, saying that We were unable to deliver your package, we come again tomorrow, on the 6th of August. Hmmm. That is strange. My wife was at home in the 1st half of the day, when Hermes, supposedly, was delivering my package (I learned about their delivery time later from delivery tracking page). This is what I would call a minor problem, not really an issue. Maybe, for some reason, the door bell wasn’t heard, and our delivery did not reach us. But it comes next day, right? Right?…

    There was absolutely nothing – not even a note – delivered in the following 4 days. On Saturday I started worrying. I checked Amazon package delivery status (detailed), which said that we have missed 3 (!) delivery attempts between 9:00 and 13:00 on August 5-7. I could have believed one miss, but three in a row, with my wife at home… that is extremely strange, to say the least. Anyway, I was ready to forgive this, as long as I get the package.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Misc, Rant | No Comments »

    How to update a multisite Drupal 6/7 installation using Drush

    25th August 2014

    There are quite a lot of posts on how to do this, but my differs a tiny little bit, so I’m saving it for my own future reference, and also for the benefits of the wider audience.

    I am updating a multisite Drupal 6 installation. To the best of my knowledge, the only difference for Drupal 7 is that instead of the site_offline D6 variable the maintenance_mode variable is used in D7.

    On Debian stable and later, you can sudo aptitude install drush and then just use it immediately after that.

    Note: I recommend su webuser (or sudo -s followed by sudo -s -u webuser) before you run any non-testing drush commands, where webuser is the user which owns your web-exposed files (e.g. Debian’s default is, I think, www-data). I’ve seen a lot of recommendations to run drush as a super-user, but that does not make sense, and may actually cause problems with file ownership.

    One last thing before we start: if your drush seems to work fine but hangs when untarring modules – check this solution.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in *nix, Drupal, how-to, Notepad, PHP, Programming, Software, Web | 1 Comment »

    drush pm-update fails: tar hangs when extracting *.tar.gz module archives from drupal.org

    25th August 2014

    Drush is awesome, especially for updating multisite Drupal installations.
    I had only started using it a few days ago, and I’ve immediately hit a problem, to which I did find a workaround.

    Symptoms

    • running drush @sites pm-update results in normal execution up to after answering ‘y[es]‘; then drush seems to hang indefinitely (haven’t waited beyond about 10 minutes, maybe it does produce an error after a long while);
    • running the same command with --debug shows that drush hangs when trying to untar the downloaded module.tar.gz archive; there are no errors/warnings, it just hangs with no CPU usage;
    • trying to untar any of the modules downloaded from drupal.org manually is also unsuccessful: tar -xzvf module.tar.gz seems to do nothing, it also hangs with zero CPU usage/time and no warnings/errors;
    • interestingly, if I create some test.tar.gz locally, tar does happily extract that;
    • finally, running strace tar -xzvf module.tar.gz shows a number of unexpected lines, such as references to NSS and libnss files (I am only showing some of the lines of strace output, including the last line):

      open(“/etc/nsswitch.conf”, O_RDONLY) = 4
      read(4, “# /etc/nsswitch.conf\n#\n# Example”…, 4096) = 683
      open(“/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libnss_nis.so.2″, O_RDONLY) = 4
      open(“/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libnss_files.so.2″, O_RDONLY) = 4
      open(“/etc/passwd”, O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = 4
      open(“/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libnss_mysql.so.2″, O_RDONLY) = 4
      open(“/etc/group”, O_RDONLY|O_CLOEXEC) = 4
      open(“/etc/libnss-mysql.cfg”, O_RDONLY) = -1 EACCES (Permission denied)
      open(“/etc/libnss-mysql-root.cfg”, O_RDONLY) = -1 EACCES (Permission denied)
      futex(0x7fd0816e8c48, FUTEX_WAIT_PRIVATE, 2, NULL

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in *nix, Drupal, Notepad, Software | No Comments »

    Good hands-on explanation of differences between Spearman’s and Pearson’s correlation

    22nd April 2014

    Linear correlation vs. Rank order correlation: drag 11 data points around the plot and observe how both Spearman’s and Pearson’s correlation measures change. But first follow the Next button at the bottom-right for a guided tour of data manipulations.

    Posted in Links, Science | No Comments »