xmlroff on (X)ubuntu

I got xmlroff to compile and run on Xubuntu today using only the packages available from the package manager.

I need to do more to make ‘configure’ fail when popt is not installed, but otherwise is was mostly straightforward.

Up the Creek Without a Sudo

After installing Xubuntu on the P1120, I created a new user and deleted the user created when I installed the OS.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know that I had to make the new user a member of the “admin” group for the user to be able to use “sudo” to do privileged actions. Somehow the user that I deleted wasn’t really deleted, but it’s no longer a member of the “admin” group either.

I can’t just reinstall the OS since I no longer have the second laptop for use with PXE booting and I haven’t been successful in creating floppies for the rather complicated floppy installation procedure. I’m left with trying to find a working Linux rescue floppy so I can modify just the one /etc/group file, but so far no luck.


An unrelated exposition on right-wing thought is the novel Attila by William Napier that I coincidentally borrowed from the library at the same time as Right-Wing Ireland. Yes, it is historical fiction about Attila the Hun. Quite good. Now I just have to wait for the second book in the trilogy to be published next year.

Right-Wing Ireland?

I’ve just finished reading Right-Wing Ireland? The Rise of Populism in Ireland and Europe by Michael O’Connell (ISBN 1-094148-34-4). While the book mostly discusses Euro-scepticism and rascism, the best line in the book, in the section on the effect on the political climate of an economic slump, is:

There are few more reactionary forces than a million p*ssed-off yuppies who can’t meet their mortgage repayments.

However, the book quotes surveys that indicate that people with less income and less education (which may have contributed to their less income), not the yuppies, that feel threatened by immigration since they see themselves competing with immigrants for both jobs and social welfare.

The book also makes several points about immigrants and crime, or of crime statistics, that I found noteworthy. The book was timely since just last week I saw a newspaper headline saying that 25% of the prison population are immigrants. A similar headline from 2003 – “One in five sent to prison non-nationals, study shows” – from the same paper, I believe, boiled down to closer to 17% being non-nationals, and 17% of those non-nationals being from the UK or elsewhere in the EU rather than being the stereotypical immigrant evoked by the headline.

As to why there is a high proportion of non-nationals in Irish prisons, several pages of discussion of studies of crime and racial groups in multiple countries is summarised thus:

Higher levels of offending by non-nationals, while far from inevitable (given generational and cultural differences) are possible, in the context of the economic and social disadvantage of many newcomers, as well as low self-esteem, alienation, cultural problems, possible trauma, the experience of racism and discrimination, as well as the systematic exacerbation of the situation caused by apparently neutral legal practices.

I don’t have an answer. The book refers to policies in Sweden that “have contributed to keeping second-generation immigrant crime low.” From this remove it would appear that those sorts of policies seem to be in place in Ireland, but the tone of the book would indicate that that not enough is being done.

GI jobs

In the far gone days of my youth, some girls I knew used the acronym “GI”, for “Geographic Impossibility”, when evaluating potential boyfriends. Leaving aside the decades-old question of how often did they discuss boys for them to develop their own vernacular, I’d like to revive the acronym (assuming it has ever gone out of use) and apply it to jobs.

The problem with searching for jobs on the World Wide Web is that it’s all too easy to do a worldwide job search or find out through other means about jobs that, while interesting, are “a bit too GI”, as my friends used to say:

The pages at the ends of the URLs may have disappeared by the time you read this, but you get the idea of what would be interesting if it were in Dublin or allowed remote working.

Out of Sun

I did the paperwork today, and my user ID was expunged yesterday, so I am now officially out of Sun.

Best news

I received permission to remain in Ireland for five years without the need for a Work Permit. Happy Day!

RSS for this blog via GNUS

Quoting the fifth comment in http://www.lshift.net/blog/2005/07/15/rss-via-gnus:

I finally got it to work! The trick is to set mm-url-use-external to t so that emacs uses an external program, by default wget, to fetch the feed, rather than its built-in http support.

I couldn’t have put it better myself (except perhaps to emphasise finally), and without that comment I would still be floundering. Thank you, Matthias.