Sunday, June 26, 2005

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn


Went out to Franklin Park Zoo this morning and took a bunch of pictures.

Waterfall in the Tropical Forest

Most of them ended up pretty bad due to lack of light (thanks to the somewhat hazy weather here in Boston). I’ve uploaded some of the better ones in this gallery.

Volume handling

Been spending quite some time on a rather large gnome-vfs patch (it’s about 80k now) that enables gnome-vfs-daemon to recognize drives without having them in the /etc/fstab file.

Look mom! No /etc/fstab entries!

There’s a bunch of other benefits including the fact that we actually show drive icons even when no media is in the drive and, of course, that we stop using /usr/sbin/fstab-sync in Fedora and instead use mount/umount/eject programs that can integrate nicely with the GNOME desktop. The latter is quite important, actually the point of this whole exercise.

The main benefit is that we can move all policy into the desktop - this means that we can write a GNOME-based mount wrapper that queries your settings from gconf about where to mount volumes (the mount point) and what mount options to use (e.g. iocharset comes mind). Of course, we have to be extremely careful in what options and mounts point we’ll allow. It will be almost trivial to write a Nautilus extension so this can be edited in a tab per drive/volume. This is planned too. While this sounds like a super-31337 geek feature it’s actually something that both Fedora and upstream HAL has gotten a lot of bug reports about. Another benefit is that we can actually put up meaningful dialogs if the mount/umount/eject fails. For instance, we may put up a dialog with a list of the applications that is blocking the unmount (of course, applications like these needs to be fixed so maybe not worth the effort).

Finally, we’ll be able to do lock-down much more effectively - for instance, administrators should be able to say “Require root password to mount external storage device read/write” (which is done by setting a mandatory gconf key) and we pop a dialog telling the user that we can only mount read-only unless the user authenticates (using the root password or other mechanishms is another discussion). While this sounds like a stupid feature check this out (search for “solder”) and also take a look at some of the discussion regarding what Sarbanes-Oxley is requiring from businesses.

Implementation-wise, I’m planning to use pmount as the backend for the GNOME-specific mount/umount/eject wrapper but right now I’m running into some issues with the privileged parts (that should trust nobody) insofar that they have to check things in gconf / HAL. Have to think a bit more about that and also email Martin.


So, this female Asian coworker (who has requested anonymity when I told her I was going to blog this, so can’t be specific :-) gave me a set of chopsticks last week. They’re supposed to be easier to use than what they give you at restaurants.

Chopsticks. In orange. They even match my sleeping sofa.

I’m still undecided whether it’s something I should bring to a fancy restaurant, so I carry them around with me until that matter is resolved :-)

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Size does matter

New lens

Went to the Cambridgeside Galleria tonight and picked up the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens. It’s awesome. Can’t wait for the sun to get up as it requires a bit more light than the standard 18-55mm lens that came with my Digital Rebel XT

Size does matter

Size does matter

Now to start thinking about a quick weekend get-away to try out this beast.


Been spending some time on D-BUS the past few days, got a patch for automatically reloading policy in and also some bitching about not breaking the ABI. John put out the 0.34 release that also includes glib/gobject goodness from Colin and Ross. Sweet.

Playing in the band

Friday, me, Kristian, Chris, Søren, John and clee went to this Somerville bar since it was country/southern rock night. It was pretty cool. So, I was standing out smoking, casual and minding my own stuff you know, and this old timer who reminded me of Johnny Cash came up and asked if I was part of the band. I had to say no but he insisted that I looked like a natural-born guitar player and gave me several addresses where to buy a guitar and encouraged me to start playing. I contemplated starting singing to get him on better thoughts :-)

Fedora Core 4

The Amazing Fedora Core 4! is out. Go get it.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man


So, I finally got round to finishing up and committing my NetworkManager VPN patch; here are the details. Also, since all the cool kids do it, I made a screencast to show how it works. Peruse it by clicking the picture below.

davidz does screencasting

The next step is to add support for more VPN software, not at least so we can finalise the extension points (interfaces really) for how to integrate VPN software with NetworkManager. Things like OpenVPN and Openswan comes to mind. When that is done, we’re probably going to lock down the interface and keep it stable. You know, even so proprietary software vendors may integrate their VPN software with NetworkManager.


I had a very very nice time in Denmark; arrived on Wednesday the 1st of June, spent the evening at my moms new house in Trørød with my mom, my sister Maria and her husband and two kids. On Thursday my mom and I embarked on a journey to Fyn

the uncle and the nephew - who’s who?

to visit my sister Birgitte and family. It was awesome, Birgitte and co. lives on an old farm and there was a ton of motives which meant that I put good use to my new camera. I need to upload those pictures soon now that I got an account at flickr (again, like all the cool kids :-) .

I returned to Copenhagen on Friday and met with a lot of friends at Vesterbro Torv - I think we were 10-11 or so. It was very nice to see so many of my old pals and it got very late until I returned home (in more than one sense). It was totally awesome.


When I got back to Boston about a week ago the weather had changed. It used to be cool. How did that happen? Now it’s about 90F (32C) and extremely humid. We have already had two thunderstorms IIRC. Thank god for AC - except that the one in my car is broken and the one in my apartment is extremely noisy. Oh well, can’t win them all :-)