Postgresql Puzzles and Invisible Users on OS/X

In which Andy proves he really doesn’t know as much about Unix and particularly OS/X as he probably should and certainly wishes!
This is one of my rambling streams of semi-conscious tinkering to get something working. Yes it has actually been edited for brevity but I’m keeping all the weird error messages on here so search engines will help some other poor sod.

At first I thought it was because I was tired but even after a few hours sleep, the following doesn’t make sense:
su -l postgres
Password:
su: Sorry
Why doesn’t that make sense? Because I don’t know the password to the postgres user because it was added during the installation and I am pretty sure I didn’t supply the password at installation. I don’t know the account and don’t know how to change its password.
Continue reading

Public Image, Themes and Positioning

I am doing a periodic kick of my awareness of things outside software development by reading the 20th Anniversary edition of Positioning: The Battle for your Mind.

Whilst I haven’t finished the book, just the first few chapters were very helpful in coming up with the content for the flyer I provided for the goody bags at the ACS WA Branch State Conference this week, one of the benefits of being a speaker.

On my not-quite-linearly-growing list of things to do are various items to do with blog and website appearance updates. But, does it really matter? Continue reading

Australian Computer Society (WA) Branch Conference

Earlier this week I was honored to present at the ACS branch conference and very pleased to attend the full day. The Australian Computer Society is one of the leading professional societies in the world, based on external feedback (not just a bunch of self-satisfied Aussies) and I’ve been proud to be a member for many years and former committee member.

I spoke about the OLPC project and the XO Laptop, including demonstrating both on virtual machines and with my very own laptop I bought via the Give1Get1 project in the USA last year. Apart from discussing the project, social themes and its politics, I talked about the development environments included – Pippy Python and Squeak eToys. In particular, I emphasized the idea of Modeling Literacy – providing visual, interactive models as a classroom and personal tool.

The full presentations are available online, including many presenter notes not made visible to the audience.

Armless Asbestos Remover and Plumbing Debugging

I’m fat and I’m old and my arms are really, really tired and asbestos is incredibly hard to cut!

The day after my first serious Chow Gar training session in a couple of months (back injury + flu + colliding family issues = lots of weeks of missed training) was not a good day to spend literally hours cutting less than 1m of old asbesto sheeting.

In the bathroom I’m renovating with Ceramilite,  when we were busy banging on the wall whilst fitting the sheet over all the shower and bath taps spouts, a nasty trickle of water emerged from behind the wall. Nasty, because the only explanation for it was a leak somewhere inside the wall over which I was about to install some fairly expensive sheeting. So, a plumber was called, ugly hole bashed in the wall and a T-joint of indeterminate age and very moderate quality replaced. During the visit, he mentioned that the material was asbestos sheeting, which is why he’d just bashed a rough hole rather than neatly cutting with a power saw (breaking edges doesn’t generate dust) and, incidentally, left me with a wonderful non-programming debugging problem.

Continue reading