The weekend.

I’ve not done a great deal over the weekend other than fail to buy anything
during some Christmas shopping, fail to do this year’s Christmas cards and
fail to get any MTA (Mail Transport Agent) working on my main server.

On Saturday I went looking in Toys’R’Us for a little pressie for Christopher,
the son of my friends Rachel & Graham as I’m going to visit them next
weekend. I debated getting him a little lego motor so he can power some of
his creations. I also looked at the mini remote control cars, as my Mum wants
to know if there’s anything I’d like. (I’d prefer not to get something computery
as that’s transient, almost disposable technology these days and it costs
a bomb too.) I’m not sure about these little cars now as they’re actually
IR controlled and not radio controlled. Still, I’m still thinking about them..
even though they’re 30 quid each (and to have a race you need at least 2).

Saturday afternoon I tried out online gaming by downloading and installing
the “Coounter Strike” add-on for Half-Life. It took about 10 minutes or so
to download the list of games servers before I could even pick one. Then
once I’d joined a game, after about 10 minutes I found myself being abused
verbally with the message “u r lamer” and within a few seconds kicked off
the server. If this is what online gaming is about, it’s not worth the hassle.

Saturday evening was spent watching the two extra DVDs in the Fellowship
of the Ring extended edition. I started playing them at about 7pm.. even
after skipping a couple of the documentries I still didn’t manage to finish
’til 12:40am! That was a bit of a marathon.

Sunday was spent trying to get first exim to play and then sendmail to play
at being my mail server software on my server.. both didn’t work.. both didn’t
work in the same way.. Once they dropped priviledges they couldn’t get them
back so as to deliver the mail. This suggests something wrong with the setuid
part of the operating system?! Oh well.

So, as you can see, a facinating weekend.

The slippery slope.

more I read about the USA’s Department of Homeland Security the more I’m
reminded of the political backstory in the TV series Babylon 5 where President
Clarke sets up the “Home Guard” to protect Earth from alien consiracy and
attack. This, of course, leads onto a Stalinist type state.

I’m not saying that the Dept. of Homeland Security is the same as the “Home
Guard” in the TV series, it’s just a symptom of the sort of “evil” which
is a slippery slop which CAN, if not checked, lead to such a situation. Governmental
paranoia, or at least the generation of paranoia in the public by a government
intent on controlling its population is a well known tool. I can see that
President Bush Jr. and his cabinet seem to be setting themselves on a course
with this sort of destiny, the previous encarnation of which was the McCarthy
purges of the early 1950’s.

As for things on this side of the Atlantic, they’re not that much rosier,
with Tony Blair seeming to be either a lapdog of Pres. Bush Jr. or trying
to emulate him. That added to such draconian legislation as the RIP bill
and other such frighteningly sweeping attacks on our freedoms and things
look bleak.

Let’s hope that Messrs. Bush and Blair turn away from thier degenerative
paranoia and steer a more intelligent course. The problem I have is believing
that they’re not taking this spiral ride without full knowledge of the consiquences..
which would mean that they are morally totally corrupt.