When is a cmake not a cmake?

I was trying to install some software from source today. After dicking around for a full day last week trying to port it’s build chain to Bazel, I decided to just install the build toolchain it expects.

I install Cmake, and try to build my program. No dice! This source file requires cmake version 2.8.12, and CentOS 7 comes with 2.8.11. Ergh. So, I go back to source, and grab and make the latest cmake. A quick make, make install, and I go back to the original directory and… get the same error message?

/cmake .
CMake Error at CMakeLists.txt:1 (cmake_minimum_required):
 CMake 2.8.12 or higher is required. You are running version 2.8.11

What can this be? Did it not install? I make clean, make install again, and this time I search for where it’s installing. /usr/local/bin/cmake ; It seems to work. It’s in path. I run ‘which cmake’ and it tells me ” /usr/local/bin/cmake”, as I expect. I run directly from that path, and check the version; 3.2.2, as I expected. What gives? Why does simply running it not give me the expected results? I throw strace at it; The top line of strace shows the correct path:

execve("/usr/local/bin/cmake", ["cmake"], [/* 26 vars */]) = 0

At this point, I’m fairly stumped. Clearly, the old executable still exists, so I search my path for it; The old version of cmake is in /usr/bin. I then wonder at what could be causing the redirection, so I launch a new terminal, type cmake –version… and I get the correct result! Launching bash as a subshell also gives me what I want. So, what’s wrong with my initial shell?

At this point, I was fairly stumped, so I asked my dad, an old unix hand, and he pointed me to the ‘hash’ builtin. Bash keeps a dictionary of commands to their full pathnames; Presumably for speed, as doing several directory listings for each command would be wasteful, even with all of the PATH directories in ram.

The solution is simply to call ‘hash cname’ or ‘hash -r’ to cause bash to redo the dictionary entry for cname, or for everything, respectively.

Make tmux sessions behave like screen

I’ve been using tmux for a while, because it’s got a couple cool advantages over screen, mostly in the areas of “readable code” and “not locking up”. What it fails at, however, is having an interface like screen; What I really liked about screen is that I could have a dozen terminal windows open and use screen as a tiling window manager; I could swap between windows at will with keypresses, having some windows in multiple locations, others nowhere to be seen, and re-arrange how I had with button-presses.

 

The functionality can be replicated with a little known feature called “grouping”. When you create a new session, you can specify the -t command to “group” it with an existing one. This session-group will share all windows, but unlike having just one attached session, switching which window is active does not switch it in all.

 

I also wrote a quick script to automatically look for an existing session, and, if none are detached, create a new one.


tmux ls |grep -v attached |grep -v daemon
if [ $? -ne 0 ]; then
tmux new-session -t master ;
else
tmux attach;
fi

The Monster at the End of this Book

What makes this a children’s classic? The presence of the cute, loveable Grover doesn’t hurt, nor does the fact that the concept is so simply and cleanly executed. But what makes it subversive?

It’s could be considered a toddler’s introduction to the fourth wall. You don’t need to understand what the fourth wall is to understand that, despite it being a static book, Grover is addressing you, the reader, in a way that’s fairly uncommonly used. It’s the encouragment, nay, the imperative to break the rules – on one hand, Grover tells you not to turn the page. On the other, the adult is turning the page – And what happens at the end is rewarding. The contradiction between authorities, and the boundary shattering nature of the journey you go with Grover on, make this a vital book in the library of a subversive child.

Subversion

While many attempts have been made to define it; nobody’s ever been able to quantify intelligence; Reduce it down to core ideals. I can’t do that either; but I can speak to a related ideal – Subversiveness. Here’s the reading list: More to come.

Reading list –

The Monster at the End of this book

Dr. Seuss

Maurice Sendak

Ender’s Game

The Diamond Age

Children’s shows that are inexplicable liked by adult men.

Celebrating 5+ Years the Magic has been dead.

I went to the grand opening of a Disney store in a local mall a few weeks back.

I have fond memories of the Disney store from when I was growing up. Granted, it was no DisneyLAND, but the Disney store was fairly magical – They had a wall dedicated to the newest Disney movies, with toys and games and merchandise, and that was Fantastic when those movies we The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. The opposite wall was full of their classics; Bambi, Snow White, etc… And the back wall had a giant projector playing classic Disney songs, Mickey Mouse cartoons, and clips of all their movies. The facade was full of animated statues; A Sorcerers Apprentice Mickey waving his wand at some brooms, a Dumbo that’d flap his ears… It was a little bit of Disney magic, for the half hour my mother would let me browse while in the mall.

This new Disney Store? It was embarrassing. It was opened in the spot another Disney store had been in, ~5 years back, and as I understand that store had been the same as my childhood memories. However, this store was more a Disney Princess store, with a little bit of Cars thrown in; It had racks of little girls dresses that I’m ashamed to know even exist, and an array of astoundingly awful Cars merchandise. Gone was any sign of the Disney magic; I had trouble even finding a Mickey in the store. Gone was any of the life, light, and fun that had embodied the singalongs and movie clips in the store I remembered; There was one tiny television in the place, and it was showing clips of “Wizards of Waverly Place”. Gone was any mention of the Disney classics – There was Snow White, but no sign of the seven dwarfs anywhere. I didn’t even see sign of Tinkerbell; Tinkerbell, the secondary mascot of Disney for countless years, who they’d even reinvented just a few years back.

Just as a note: While I talk of the Disney store above, almost as cool were the old WB Studio stores; A projector showing Bugs Bunny cartoons and Action movie clips, Batman merchandise, and a playset themed as a Marvin the Martian rocket. Those were good times.

 

Is your mama a llama?

You know what’s ironic? Society’s use of the word “Irony”. Most people seem to think it means “when something happens when least expected or at the worst possible time”. However, as we know, readers, Irony actually stems from the theatrical practice where a character makes a statement of belief that the audience knows is contrary to fact. That makes the very usage of Irony in a day to day basis ironic to those who know it’s true meaning.

Dramatic Irony is based on withheld information. So much of daily drama is, too. Drama, Strife, and Conflict in relationships is very rarely caused by too much common knowledge – In my experience, it is caused by the exact opposite, secrecy and refusal to acknowledge the minor and natural conflicts, instead choosing to subsume them under a friendly veneer. This causes them to fester and boil, to be communicated (whether directly or indirectly) to subsets and individuals, and for people to have to feign ignorance while dancing around contentious subjects. This leads only to more irony, more drama.

As Thumper says; “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. This advice is terrible, and deprives the world. What good are positive review, without negative ones to set the scale? Further, what criticism is leveled and acknowledged is often done with bitter invective and biting satire than with any constructive advice – Just look at the contrast of popularity of Yahtzee’s  “Zero” and “Extra” punctuation.

So, yes; I have little intention of seeing these people again, so I’ll air my grievances. I’ll be at PAX, but as an attendee, and I’ll be pretending these people, as well as the areas they represent, do not exist.

If there’s any criticism I have to level at the Enforcers as a whole, it’s of the general malaise afflicting the group. People are almost autistic in their ability to get things done at and for the convention, but unable to apply those same skills to bettering their outside lives.

James Fiske – I do not doubt your technical merits, nor your ability to get people to do things. I doubt your ability to do such without burning through people’s patience, and I know mine is not the first to have been destroyed.

Khahil White – You have terrible taste in choosing who to trust and respect, and screw over those that aren’t on that list.

Kenneth Kuan – I used to think you were cool; Then I thought you were an ass. Partially because it seemed that everything I wanted flowed into your hands. Then, I realized not that long ago, I was simply coveting things because you had them, and I realized how pathetic and fleeting your grasp on those treasures really was. What really got me tonight was how aptly you simply didn’t get it – Rather than understanding the why or how of Appengine architecture, you flat out dismissed it. I’m ashamed of how long I mistook your idiocy for insight.

Matt Buchanan – You could be an excellent friend, a solid planner, and an excellent organizer and bringer-together of people. Instead, you choose to be an ignorant, abrasive jerk, drunk on what little power you wield over people. I appreciate you throwing parties, but you’re very bad at being a gracious host.

Rachel Chateaubriand – I never liked you, and I could never put my finger on it. Finally, it was when I overhead you advocating theft from your employer that I realized it; You’re incredibly selfish and low class. Why in the nine heavens anyone bothers to continue to speak to you, I am uncertain. My best guess is that you are simply good enough at camouflaging yourself as whatever group you’re talking with that you’re able to hide it. For all I know, even the conversation I overheard was simply camouflage among the equally low class people it was with; Somehow, I doubt it. You’re a snake; And I will continue to crash whatever parties I damn well please. If you’re unable to deal with my completely unveiled disgust with you,

To Smalllady (whose real name I haven’t even the slightest guess at), who seemed upset that I would not be attending any more events; These are the reasons why. I am tired of playing second fiddle to halfwits; but it’s their sandboxes that I’m playing in.

Stranger Danger

(Name Redacted) posts to facebook:

“I know you guys trying to be friendly and nice and all but dont post on my friends posts when I comment them and you can see it, unless your friends with them. Thanks :S”

My response, archived here because said person is no longer in my friends list.

Privacy options are in the top corner, under Account settings. What your friend, Party C, is looking for is “Permission to comment on your posts”. If it has been set to “Friends Only”, then even if you should comment, and I should see it, I cannot comment on Party C’s post.

But don’t set that. It’s stupid. It’s immature. You’re posting to Facebook, you’re having a conversation in a public room of a party that everyone’s invited to. Should other partygoers feel that they are threatening if they should happen to speak up and try to join the conversation?

You’re living in a ridiculous “filter bubble”. Certainly, people add stupid comments to posts; You can remove them if you wish, or you can simply ignore them like a rational person. By setting this setting (or making passive aggressive postings in which you fail to realize that the setting exists), you’re perpetuating a culture that’s unable to comprehend humans as a fungible resource; You’re treating the world as your own personal monkeysphere and a group of “others” who are somehow malicious.

It’s human nature, but it’s not how the world has worked for literally centuries, since the rise of cities at the turn of the 19th. Humans are mostly good natured and self regulating. If someone is abusive or stepping out of bounds, it is possible to tell them, block them, or even go so far as tell your friends and deal with the issue on a wider basis. It’s not necessary to encircle yourself and assume “Stranger Danger”.

Super 8 – What did I just play?

Everyone in their right mind is playing Portal 2, As was I. But when my co-op partner (my little brother) had to go to bed, I decided to check out what else there was. And, much to my surprise, the extras section of Portal 2 had something I wasn’t expecting – In addition to the trailers and videos that had previously been released was “Super 8 Interactive Trailer”.
You start off in a train (Big surprise, if you’re familiar with Valve games). The tooltip pops up, encouraging you to use the middle button to zoom. There’s boxes of military looking supplies, and a radio in the center of the car that’s on, and indistinguishable speech playing. You can walk towards the front of the car, and that’s when things start to happen. A clear shout comes over the radio; “There’s something on the track!”. The view warps, as the boxcar collapses around you.

Seconds later from the player’s perspective, you wake up surrounded by the debris of the train. Fires light your way as you wander towards the front. A barrel catches fire and explodes as you approach, teetering telephone lines suddenly give. You continue walking forward, through the wreckage, til you come to a relatively intact boxcar, and it’s clear why it’s survived better: It’s armored. Suddenly, the area around you explodes, and you’re thrown back, to get a better view of the armored hatch. The hatch starts to thud, then dents appear, and finally, it flies up –

Fade to black, and launch webbrowser. A flash movie plays, and the credits at the bottom says “JJ Abrams” and “Steven Spielberg”. A curious marketing trick (I’d not heard of Super 8 before), but it seems in the vein of both Cloverfield and ET; A young boy with his Super 8 camera is helping his brother film a movie, and they seem the only ones in the town who believe in the alien entity, despite the fact that the military has shown up en-masse.

What does this actually mean, though? Is this just a quick marketing stunt? Is Valve making a Super-8 game? Will there be more interactive components to this story? What did I miss in the train car that I should’ve zoomed in on? If anything is clear from Abrams past works, there will be much secrecy, and many more small snippets of information to build hype. After the almost-letdown that was the Portal 2 ARG, is this what Valve should be doing?

zfs

One of my ZFS drives went bad a little while ago, and I thought by replacing it I might get additional speed; Perhaps it had been the problem all along? Doing such has certainly improved my ZFS experience, but there’s still something wrong. I have discovered something that has improved it further, though.

while true; do sync; done;

That got rid of frequent pauses, and made my ZFS partition grab data fairly fast… Faster than I can shove it down a wireless G pipe, anyway. It’s not perfect, but then again, my ZFS setup is far from ideal.

Letters never sent.

I spent a few minutes this morning cleaning up my drafts box. It was mostly full of cruft: e-mails I had sent but had hit ‘save’ on, that yahoo somehow decided I must’ve meant I wanted a draft copy too. More than a few, though, were messages I had meant to send, but never did. Most of these are far too late to send, but I don’t like to destroy anything, so they’ll get posted here. Unfinished, the represent the aborted fetuses of my writing; but even unsent, they are dear to me.

From: Thahn@tcbtech.com

To: gaben@valvesoftware.com

Subject: Infestation

Date: Tue, 7/20/10

Much like the terrifying facehugger-homage parasites in the game, I’ve been infested by Alien Swarm. I remember liking the UT mod quite a bit; This is more love than I’ve felt since I lost my weighted companion cube. And it’s free, which is incredible icing on the many-layered cake. I know how you guys do it (Free stuff leads people to the siren call of the Steam homepage, with the irresistible allure of your specials page to assure purchases); Still, in this gaming world where other companies are increasingly charging more and more for less and less, it’s great to see that you guys are able to provide excellent entertainment at a low price and make it up in volume.

You’ve put out incredible work since forever; I remember being hooked just playing the training course of Half-Life. I

played the early days of Counter-Strike, and I’m so glad you snatched that up, and I spent many wonderful evenings on TFC. HL2 was a defining experience for me; Half Life had made story a part of FPS’s, but HL2 made it integral. Portal blew me away; The simplicity and majesty of it were wonderful. Left 4 Dead 2 defines co-op play.

– Ted All information contained within this letter is strictly for anyone who reads it. If you have not read the contents of this letter, do not disclose its contents. Failure to do so will be prosecuted to the full extent of elbonian law.

— End Of File —

Much like the terrifying facehugger-homage parasites in the game, I’ve been infested by Alien Swarm. I remember liking the UT mod quite a bit; This is more love than I’ve felt since I lost my weighted companion cube. And it’s free, which is incredible icing on the many-layered cake. I know how you guys do it (Free stuff leads people to the siren call of the Steam homepage, with the irresistible allure of your specials page to assure purchases); Still, in this gaming world where other companies are increasingly charging more and more for less and less, it’s great to see that you guys are able to provide excellent entertainment at a low price and make it up in volume.
You’ve put out incredible work since forever; I remember being hooked just playing the training course of Half-Life. I
played the early days of Counter-Strike, and I’m so glad you snatched that up, and I spent many wonderful evenings on TFC. HL2 was a defining experience for me; Half Life had made story a part of FPS’s, but HL2 made it integral. Portal blew me away; The simplicity and majesty of it were wonderful. Left 4 Dead 2 defines co-op play.
– Ted All information contained within this letter is strictly for anyone who reads it. If you have not read the contents of this letter, do not disclose its contents. Failure to do so will be prosecuted to the full extent of elbonian law. — End Of File — thah

Ted's Excellent Adventure.