Nov 09 2015

Babies or tiny drunks?

Recently I found this great thread on Reddit about two toddlers being like drunk girls. Though the animated GIF was entertaining, one particular comment in the thread was pure gold:

Babies are born blackout drunk and slowly sober as they age.

They form no permanent memories for several years, have no hand-eye coordination, and are either crying or sleeping. Slowly they regain the ability to crawl around on all fours, then to stumble drunkenly across the room before falling on their faces.

Eventually they become sober enough to start speaking slurred, broken sentences. But their emotions are still totally out of control, and they’ll fly into a rage, a sobbing fit, or uncontrollable giggles at the slightest provocation.

Puberty is the hangover.

You can see the comment and context here.

Too funny… and accurate.


Oct 29 2015

Happy 18th Birthday, Noah

Happy 18th Birthday, Noah! I hope that you have a great day today, and that this upcoming year is your best one yet! Not too long ago, I saw a video of someone solving a Rubik’s cube blindfolded, (after only looking at the cube for about a minute), and it made me think back to solving them together. It also made me think of the cube that we made using photos, and not realising that it would be absurdly more difficult than ones with just colours—since you would have to have each square oriented correctly as well.

Noah's custom Rubik's cube for his birthday in 2009
Click to enlarge

Remember that?

Anyway, I hope that you have a great birthday! Maybe we’ll get to talk sometime soon. I would like to hear about all the things that have gone on over the last six years, and especially what your plans are for college.

Love ya’, kid,

Oct 09 2015

Amavisd fails to start due to BerkeleyDB, libdb, and db.h

Yet again, I had troubles with restarting amavisd after some package updates. You can see about the other problems that I’ve had with the application in these two previous blog posts: missing SpamAssassin rules causing amavis to fail and start-up failures due to a missing Perl IPv6 module.

This time, the problem was related to the backend database used for Bayes filtering within SpamAssassin, although it wasn’t readily clear what the problem was. After updating SpamAssassin, I saw the following message from Portage (Gentoo‘s package manager):

* You need to configure your database to be able to use Bayes filter
* with database backend, otherwise it will still use (and need) the
* Berkeley DB support.
* Look at the sql/README.bayes file in the documentation directory
* for how to configure it.

At first, I thought that there was a problem with my MariaDB installation, but then I remembered that I’m currently still using BerkeleyDB (BDB) for SpamAssassin.

After trying to stop and restart amavisd, zapping the configuration (which was a problem mentioned in one of my previous posts), manually killing the running amavisd processes, and a few other things, I was still left with a configuration that would cause amavisd to fail on startup:

* Starting amavisd-new ...
Problem in Amavis::DB or Amavis::DB::SNMP code:
BerkeleyDB needs compatible versions of libdb & db.h
you have db.h version 6.0.30 and libdb version 6.0.35
Compilation failed in require at (eval 93) line 20.
BEGIN failed--compilation aborted at (eval 93) line 20. [ !! ]
* ERROR: amavisd failed to start

Out of sheer desperation, I attempted what seemed to be an unlikely fix by recompiling BerkleyDB (via emerge -v dev-perl/BerkeleyDB). Lo and behold, amavis decided to start after that recompilation! It’s a bit strange to me that the standard tools like revdep-rebuild and emerge @preserved-rebuild didn’t catch this problem.

In any case, third time is a charm with amavisd. Hopefully there won’t be any further problems when attempting to reload or restart it.


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