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Tue, 29 May 2007

Donating blood

Sven Mueller wrote a nice blog about how important it is to donate blood. To cite him: Please donate blood if you can. If you are uncomfortable with the choice you made on your first donation, check out other options for donations.

I agree wholeheartedly! I heard from a Lady, who can't donate blood herself, since she doesn't feel comfortable with it -- I can understand it, I hate needles and don't like to see my own blood neither. But she wants to help nonetheless, so she volunteered to help during blood drives: She sits by the people donating blood, talks to them, helps them walk around when they still feel dizzy, give out food and drinks, etc.

postet at 18:59 into [Debian/other] permanent link

Sat, 26 May 2007

Doing stuff I should have done quite some time ago...

Yesterday I did something, I should have done a long time ago. I donated blood. I donated blood several times already, especially when I was in army service and a nearby University hospital called for help, when they where running low. I must confess it wasn't only the feel good factor that motivated me back then; you could donate blood during your duty hours, got some money, something to eat a way better than the normal food we got and additionally you where freed from heavy duty for two days. Even after I got out of military service, I went a couple of times to donate blood.

But for some reason -- I don't know why -- I stopped for a couple of years. Well; the funny thing is, that the German red Cross has often these collect blood sessions in a nearby school, which is on my way back to university, but even that didn't worked. I always had something else in mind or planed for that evening.

However, the other day we found a flier of one of those collect blood sessions yesterday evening. And so we went there... and where surprised how many people wanted to donate blood! I can't remember that I ever had to wait to donate blood, but this time they said they had many first time donors, which need special care.

Rest of the story is easy: After some interesting conversation (You know how that works? -- Yes, I look away, and you do the rest and tell me nothing!), Meike and myself had half a liter less, and enjoyed a very nice meal.

As I already said: I don't understand, why I didn't did it for such a long time; nice atmosphere, nice things to eat, nice people taking care of you... I'm going to donate more often. Perhaps you want to try it, too?

postet at 12:35 into [Debian/other] permanent link

Mon, 21 May 2007

Playing with the package file

For Meikes thesis, we needed a csv-File from the Debian-Package file, so I wrote a small script to do that. You can get it from my repository (or via websvn). (Not yet perfect, but worked well enough for us; patches welcome.)

If you just need the csv to copy the data in a database (like she did), don't try to guess, how long a textfield (e.g. for depends or the long description) should be; we tried and failed several times (Sure... 2000 characters should be enough for a long description.). We finally used the following database (We used PostgreSQL, should work similar on other database systems): CREATE TABLE packages ( package character varying (75) NOT NULL, source character varying (75), priority character varying(10) NOT NULL, section character varying(20) NOT NULL, installedsize integer NOT NULL, maintainer character varying(150) NOT NULL, architecture character varying(4) NOT NULL, version character varying(40) NOT NULL, depends character varying(5000), conflicts character varying(5000), recommends character varying(5000), suggests character varying(5000), enhances character varying(500), predepends character varying(500), provides character varying(500), replaces character varying(500), buildessential character varying(3), essential character varying(3), filename character varying(200) NOT NULL, md5sum character(33) NOT NULL, origin character varying(100), sha1 character(41) NOT NULL, sha256 character(65) NOT NULL, size integer NOT NULL, tag character varying(1000), task character varying(400), description text NOT NULL, longdescription character varying(30000), CONSTRAINT pk PRIMARY KEY (package) );.

Now that you've created a table, you need to fill it. Easiest method is to use the COPY statement, as follows: copy packages (package, source, priority, section, installedsize, maintainer, version, depends, conflicts, recommends, suggests, enhances, predepends, replaces, buildessential, essential, filename, md5sum, origin, sha1, sha256, size, tag, task, description, longdescription) FROM '/path/to/your/csv-file' DELIMETER ';' CSV;.

You should now have a nice database to play with :)

Some examples... Which are the packages with the longest longdescription?

debian_packages=> select package, length(longdescription) as length from packages order by length desc limit 5;
        package         | length
 texlive-latex-extra    |  25337
 texlive-fonts-extra    |   5719
 emacs-goodies-el       |   4502
 xbase-clients          |   4403
 postgresql-contrib-7.4 |   4223
(5 rows)

Or... Which maintainer have the most packages?

debian_packages=> select maintainer, count(*) as anzahl  from packages group by maintainer order by anzahl desc limit 5;
                            maintainer                            | anzahl
 Debian Qt/KDE Maintainers <>       |    465
 Debian QA Group <>                         |    458
 Debian X Strike Force <>                |    274
 Debian Perl Group <> |    261
 Daniel Baumann <>                               |    255
(5 rows)

Or... Is there a package, whose sha256-sum contains Meikes birthday?

debian_packages=> select package, sha256 from packages where sha256 like '%261081%';
           package            |                              sha256
 libobject-realize-later-perl | 5188126108146fc0b1328473125687fb388bd8d87f460e335952dbb1b66aa3d1
(1 row)

And another goodie (We needed to alter the database several times, to make this package fit into it): Which is the package with the longest name?

debian_packages=> select package, length(package) from packages order by length(package) desc limit 1;
                         package                         | length
 libmaypole-plugin-authentication-usersessioncookie-perl |     55
(1 row)

A lot of fun... and a lot of interesting facts to be discovered...

postet at 13:09 into [Debian] permanent link

Sat, 05 May 2007

Bug #422411

Do you remeber that scene from Star Wars: A new Hope, where Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader finally meeth for their light saber duell? And Vader says: I've been waiting for you, Obi-Wan. We meet again, at last. The circle is now complete.?

Felt a bit like that, when I today filled a rc bug against one of my old application managers packges...

*evil grin*

postet at 21:40 into [Debian] permanent link

Thu, 03 May 2007

That's sooo childish!

Hiding a number? Why such an effort? If you post the number 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0, you can always claim you did it, because you thought it was one of those stupid memes...

postet at 13:05 into [Debian/memes] permanent link


Alexander Tolimar Reichle-Schmehl lives in Tuttlingen / Germany. He works as IT manager (specialized on Unix and SAN/Storage) for an international automotive supplier.