Fixpoint

2020-02-25

Bitcoin transactions and their signing, 1

Filed under: Bitcoin, Software — Jacob Welsh @ 23:42

As my offline Bitcoin signer nears completion, it's a good time to introduce just what Bitcoin transactions are anyway, how they are signed, and not least of all how it could go horribly wrong if we're not careful. This first part will cover the basics that I consider required knowledge for anyone who handles the currency.

A Bitcoin transaction is a message with particular structure and binary encoding rules,(i) specifying the transfer of given quantities from one set of accounts to another.

Transactions are composed of inputs and outputs. Each output specifies a monetary value and a destination address.(ii) Each input contains a reference to a previous transaction output(iii) and a signature authorizing its spending. In a quirk of implementation, the "accounts" mentioned above don't explicitly exist in the system; outputs are considered either unspent or spent in full by inclusion in a subsequent transaction. Your available balance, then, is the total value of unspent outputs for which you are able to issue valid signatures. Since the amount to be sent isn't usually an exact sum of previous outputs, a "change" output is added so as to overshoot and send the excess back to the original owner.

Observing that the scheme as presented so far rests on the strength of the signature, let's briefly expand on that concept, leaving the mathematical details as a black box for present purposes. A digital signature scheme provides three high-level operations: key generation, signing, and verification. Key generation takes some cryptographic entropy as input and produces a public/private key pair. Signing takes a fixed-length message hash, a private key, and possibly some further entropy and produces a signature. Verification answers whether a purported signature is valid for a given hash and public key. This gives a high degree of confidence that the signature could only have been issued by someone with knowledge of the private key (as long as some underlying unproven mathematical assumptions hold, which they appear to have so far despite ample incentive to break them). Note the distinct advantage over traditional pen-and-paper signatures: simply seeing one does not grant an ability to forge it or pass it off as covering some other message, despite the susceptibility of digital information to perfect copying and easy modification.

To be continued.

  1. Due to an unfortunate misallocation of brain cycles by Satoshi and the others who imagined themselves Bitcoin developers in the early days, there's a whole cocktail of encodings with, for example, at least four different ways to represent integers. While this makes for some added implementation complexity, the details aren't especially important for normal usage. [^]
  2. Technically a "script", but for simplicity we'll consider only the standard "pay-to-pubkey-hash" form. [^]
  3. Except in the case of "coinbase" transactions which issue mining rewards. [^]

2020-02-19

Warm and cold, new and old, fresh and salt 4: free falling

Filed under: Vita — Jacob Welsh @ 05:11

Continued from part 3.

A ski trip was about the only suggestion I had for my Christmas list, and for this time around I was treated to a generous three-day stay at Sunday River, one of the top East Coast resorts. I hadn't made it to the slopes since a 2014 Colorado trip; while there are some decent options in Virginia and nearby, the season is on the shorter side making December visits a hit or miss affair.

We stayed at the Snowcap Inn; while on the property, it wasn't really in gear-laden waddling distance to the ski area, and the room was on the basic side for the price. I figure lodging in town would be the better value; the dining certainly was.

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The first day followed on the heels of a nice New Year's Eve powder dump, leaving things a bit on the lumpy side, easy to catch an edge especially when as rusty as me. Nothing I couldn't bounce back from though, and the skills and confidence came back soon enough. Conditions were excellent and temperatures quite comfortable the next two days.

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The views are fantastic.

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Lift rides can be a good chance to strike up conversation with strangers, though many seem to actively avoid it.

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Looking down to the halfway-up Peak Lodge, the favored spot for a hot lunch or just a hot chocolate.

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Salvation's closed, obsession's the only way.

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In what's surely a metaphor for life, the harder trails tend to be easier than the noob ones - once you're good enough to handle them - because of less traffic.

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People even live out there in that nowhere.

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Yours Truly.

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We have to shovel? Life is hard!

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$5 got you a large Belgian waffle. The olfactory advertising covering a good 50 foot radius was all it needed.

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Frosted spruce trees, don't they look tasty? (I'll hazard a guess that the aim made sense earlier in the day due to wind.)

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"Airglow", heading off to the right, was probably my favorite: steady don't-forget-to-breathe downhill thrills yet nothing too treacherous.

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Thin cover in parts.

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I'm a decent skier, though I still steer clear of the double-diamonds (highest difficulty rating), so there'll be no view from past the event horizon.

Growing up I only had a couple trips - mainly through Boy Scouts - which were enough to know I loved it but not nearly enough to get over the initial ineptitude. I made the investment in college, picking up some gear of my own, a season pass, and arranging my spring semester schedule to fit the twice weekly carpool with the ski and snowboard team.

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One alone stands tall.

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The golden hour.

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Back at the inn.

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Sadly not a real wood fire, though still cheery.

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Stretching out a bit and checking the joints were still in working order.

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The end of the trip brought the end of the holiday, after a last night at home, some morning reflection and farewells.

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Connecting through Newark (EWR), the C gate was filled with a microphone and camera array posing as an entertainment and shopping system. It was eerie.

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Somehow it was my camera that stuck out as odd?

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America loves its veterans, and makes sure the supply keeps coming.

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The chairs being bolted down at the designated sitting distance from the desks turned what was trying hard to be a comfortable setup into just another reminder that yes, you're in a public airport.

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We have the figure at 5,596 iPads, on the good authority of Oatly.

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If they were gonna be watching me, it was the least I could do to return the favor!

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But not to worry, they delete the officially announced images. And it's probably even true: who could possibly be bothered to sort through it all?

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Fin.

2020-02-17

Warm and cold, new and old, fresh and salt 3: downtown Portland

Filed under: Vita — Jacob Welsh @ 03:24

Continued from part 2.

Let's proceed to a stroll downtown, starting from the Waterfront (Old Port) district (archived). It's all very brick and granite.

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CASCO BAY MUNICIPAL FERRY TERMINAL & PUBLIC PARKING GARAGE, Commercial & Franklin St

W. L. BLAKE & CO. MILL & INDUSTRIAL SUPPLIES

I hear the standard baking is excellent; we'll have to stop by on the next round.

THE STANDARD BAKING CO.

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Custom house.

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The Thomas Block at 100 Commercial Street, dating to the mid-nineteenth century.

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All the key financial services, except for the free cash machine.

BITCOIN Sold Here, lottery, ATM

Heading inland; at left is the Time And Temperature Building with rooftop display of... guess what.

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John Ford surveys the intersection from the director's chair.

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Driving was complicated more by the artificial obstacles of turn-only and bike lanes coming and going without warning than by any actual hazards.

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The Maine Lobsterman depicted in the square outside the Nickelodeon Cinemas.

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Woodman Building

CAUTION FALLING SNOW AND ICE

We've seen the Thomas, now here's the Thompson Block on Middle Street. There's not much construction predating 1867, on account of much of the city having been destroyed by a fire in 1866.

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Works Progress Administration conduit #376. Er, I mean Morgan Stanley.

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Some new growth.

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Karen McDine entertained over dinner and craft beers at a singer-songwriter showcase hosted at Blue, with songs flowing from the ever-abundant streams of love, loss and longing. This Tim guy followed, whose baseball cap entirely shadowed whatever expressions he might have had and whose indistinct crooning became unbearable in short order. My mom, who has no trouble letting you know what's on her mind, initiated the escape plan, though we were slowed by not having arranged for the check.

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In the guest bedroom upstairs, parts of the relocated library were looking tempting; more so than the first few thousand times the spines had passed through my field of vision at any rate. I ended up sticking with what I'd brought though.

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To be continued.

2020-02-07

Warm and cold, new and old, fresh and salt: part 2

Filed under: Vita — Jacob Welsh @ 23:55

Continued from part 1.

My last morning in Rutland we met up with a prospective client. He was affable, seemingly enthusiastic about our digital security training offering, and efficient in the meeting itself, though in its circumstances showed some fluid notions about time.

Robinson planned to see me off with a famous Gill's Grinder for lunch, but there was a lineup running nearly out the door, so we stopped instead at the apparently underrated Maxie's.

Back in Maine, I observed that my nose wasn't taking so well to the climate and I'd been waking every morning constricted. We figured the problem was the dryness, so made a stop at the aptly named Maine Hardware to pick up a humidifier and other sundries.

The bum seated at left (only one I noticed on the trip) asked for change, adding at once that it was for coffee and he didn't drink.

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The shop was indeed well stocked on all sorts of hardware and the staff eager to help.

The humidifier seemed to help somewhat - or at any rate gave the feeling of doing something to be in control.

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I'm just now noticing the broken glass and boarded windows at the "OPEN" Halaal market.

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There's an Eastern and Western Promenade adjoining some older upscale neighborhoods, with hillside views of city and water. Here, the Western.

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My guide takes in the scenery.

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Thomas Brackett Reed, who resigned from the House while Speaker over the Spanish-American War.

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On the distant horizon, possibly the White Mountains.

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Golden hour in the suburbs.

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There's an extensive network of walking trails in and around the woods. Here, fluffed out cattails.

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Putting together some lunch at the new place.

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We headed across the street for a delicious, ample and somewhat chaotic Christmas dinner with the extended family. (Having a kids' table works in theory...)

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We headed up to Boothbay to do some further winterizing of the cottage. There used to be a pine forest on the rocky ridge nearby, but what with being a rocky ridge and all, the trees weren't deeply rooted. Much of it had to be cleared out after some went down in a heavy storm.

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Log cabin in the woods, better hidden in summer.

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Cottage interior.

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Views of the Sheepscot River from nearby Porter Preserve.

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Ducks (or possibly cormorants), osprey nest, locals and tourists.

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Among the rocks was a small sandy area with signs of assorted flora and fauna.

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We went down to the touristy harbor area and dined at an Italian place that struck our fancy.

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Whale watch, boat trip and puffin cruise on pier 7. In season, we haven't gone for those larger scale things, instead finding our sea legs on ferries to the outlying islands or on the Schooner Eastwind. For more vigorous and independent adventures there's kayak rental, and one year we found a guy able to rent us a small outboard skiff. Skippering that all around (after some instruction from dad) was probably the most fun I ever had on the water; sadly the litigious climate was making business increasingly risky and I doubt such a rental could be found anymore.

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Every time I go back, the place feels a little bit smaller, though it still has its charm.

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Up the road, the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden was putting on a light show to attract some off-season traffic.

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Moose crossing!

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A local tradition is to have the kids build and furnish these "fairy houses".

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It was pretty cool! Easily the same scale if not larger than the similar ZooLights in DC. The hot chocolate did brisk sales.

Back in Portland, we had an item to return at a small branch library so I took a peek inside.

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It was a short drive south to see the iconic Portland Head Light.

There was a memorial for the USS Eagle-56 sub-chaser:

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This is not the light.

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This is!

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Quoth the plaque:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow often walked from Portland to visit this Lighthouse. The Keepers were his friends and it is believed he sat here for inspiration for his poem "The Lighthouse"

"Sail on: Sail on ye stately ships,
And with your floating bridge the ocean span.
Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse
Be yours to bring man near unto man."

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Watching the watcher.

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People can have interesting reactions to finding themselves in the camera's sights. A common one seems to be assuming that they're in the way.

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200 years of keepers of the light.

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What does he see?

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Just some wiring, comms and a model in storage.

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It turns out paint doesn't make for the most lasting of memorials.

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Of course I'll have to go check out the cliffs.

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Town of Cape Elizabeth and possibly some of Portland.

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Abandoned naval fort.

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Turns out the light was commissioned by Washington himself!

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Special delivery, one shed.

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And down to the water.

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A vein of Shiny White Rock (technical term).

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There's a park area around the old Fort Williams.

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It was a prolific year for acorns; they have this cycle apparently.

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Back in Portland to see the Eastern Prom.

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The same fort from earlier, from the other direction.

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I can just see it going through the Panama Canal.

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Sailboats in storage, behind some large barge.

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USS Portland monument.

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To be continued.

Warm and cold, new and old, fresh and salt: part 1

Filed under: Vita — Jacob Welsh @ 01:22

My family tree on the paternal side has roots reaching back a ways in New England. Some lines go back to colonial Massachusetts. Another had fled Hungary at the time of ...one or the other World War,(i) landing in Maine with plans to head south but deciding they liked it well enough to stay.(ii)

While neither my father nor I grew up there, the family maintained a summer cottage near the coast in Boothbay, ME where we enjoyed vacations. Meanwhile my aunt settled in a more urban spot in the state and expanded the tribe. So when my parents semi-retired last year - having imagined they never would - these ties among other considerations made the Portland area (not to be confused with the Oregon one) a logical destination;(iii) though living there full-time, and having spare time too, was as much a novelty for them as the visit was for me.

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The state is known for its tourism, lighthouses and lobster fishery. The airport had a Christmas tree built of lobster traps on display.

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I'm unsure if the moose is a year-round resident.

But let's leave Portand for now. Once settled in, I rented a car(iv) and headed across the way to the Green Mountain State to hang out with Robinson and see his hometown of Rutland.

I made the drive sans GPS: partly to make sure I still knew how to navigate, and partly to make sure it could still be done. I'm pleased to report it certainly could, and the sprawling road atlas got kudos from a gray-bearded toll collector on I-95. The only pain is in going solo, losing time to pull over and reorient after a mistake.

The first evening, Robinson's folks took us to a nice dinner at a place downtown called Roots. He and I then stayed out a bit, though not much of interest was going on. The area's mountainous geography left it typically a few degrees colder than the Maine coast, and that made a difference; walking around near midnight felt like the very life was being sucked from your bones, like there was a timer over your head counting the seconds left to get indoors.(v)

In the morning Robinson took me for the driving tour.

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If you love lawnmowing, it's the place for you!

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The prominent Killington ski resort is a short drive down the highway.

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It's called Vermont maple syrup for a reason!

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Very New England, apparently: covered bridges and solar panels.

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The country club.

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Castles.

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A low school and a high school.

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Synagogue.

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Casella Waste Systems Inc., apparently started out of a pickup truck in this very town in 1975, now publicly traded.

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Downtown (you were starting to wonder if there was one?), we see a Mead Building occupied by uncertain shops and an uncertain building occupied by a Castleton University Bank Gallery. (Wait, what's a bank gallery?)

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The usual American entertainment fare.

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Plenty o' steeples.

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Ted's Pizza Shop. I'm told it's the best in... some large area, and you might have to get your orders for Friday in by Thursday.

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All the essentials of civilization: laundry, brakes, oil changes and guns.

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But how about some real countryside!

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And looping back to town.

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Howe Center: formerly industrial, now mostly offices and logistics if I recall.

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Public library.

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When you don't manage to keep the problem stack small.

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That afternoon we went for a hike up to the cliffs of the East Mountain. It was just right: enough to get the heart pumping and have to plan one's steps on the steeper parts, yet not too exhausting.

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Robinson's dad outfitted us with these Micro Spikes that slip over the boot, quite helpful for the icy conditions.

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The views from the top were so worth it, with mountains in the distance and town below.

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We enjoyed some Finest Liquids (maple goes with everything apparently!) and chatted until sunset.

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And what a sunset!

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Some friends of the family had a good crowd assembled with pizza, desserts, a fire going, and a football game playing. We stayed for a while, then headed downtown. The pubs were much livelier that night and we met a number of Robinson's old school friends and acquaintances.

The third day I was keen to put the rental car to use, so we made a longer expedition west to Lake Bomoseen where many townsfolk spend summers. On the way: either a slate or marble quarry.

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"Between the woods and frozen lake, the darkest evening of the year..."

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More rock scrabbling and views awaited, up The Slate Pile.

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We saw some ice fishing on smaller nearby lakes but just the evidence here.

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Birch, pine, sumac.

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The ill-fated camera.

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Heading back past more farms.

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We stopped for a look at the rodeo grounds.

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West Rutland, a separate town.

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The high school had a fetching facade of the local marble, and its own Frost reference.

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Fire and decor back at base.

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To be continued.

  1. Nothing like writing to discover what you didn't know, especially of the things you thought you did. [^]
  2. Except now I'm recalling they landed in New York, so um. There was some story of that nature, okay? [^]
  3. Sure, people warn you about the winter. But as I'm told, we live in a (post)modern age, with access to wondrous tech like fire, coats, snowy-salty-boot mats, and snowplows even. At least for my two-week stay I didn't mind it at all, but found it invigorating and often quite lovely. [^]
  4. Went for the cheap end but snagged an upgrade to a Nissan Altima. Recent model, nice enough, brakes a bit too touchy. NOT a fan of the computerized-everything, and there's probably no escaping it for new models either. [^]
  5. Wait, did I say I didn't mind the cold? [^]

2020-02-04

Forum log notes, 19 January 2020

Filed under: Summaries, Writing — Jacob Welsh @ 06:20

The 2020-01-19 #trilema log, while not especially long, proved slow going for me on the reading and challenging on the (even partial) summarizing. I recalled almost nothing at first, so went back over in detail, following or tracking down some of the references, and was able to decode some more. As I've overrun my time without managing to write, I'm publishing what I've got, namely my notes/outline from this process.

- diana_coman corrected dorion's report: completed Gales build but not yet installed

- the semi-protected article on unnamed receiving assorted pop culture awards & honors
- MP's ode to Leland Stanford Nitwit (Stephen Dowling Bots)
- MP reading wikipedia re elder Stanford: "robber baron" whiners (old idle shameless women)
  - nedeflorenas ?
  - horseface whatshername ?
- diana_coman: rewards & horrors
- hanbot: bitterness takes resources, hard workers don't "observe" & bemoan
- MP: unowned women (zero value) incorrectly not starving. The Pawnbroker
- medieval age likewise ruined by 1600: allotments for wife support in silver out of heir's harvest
- catering to female hunger for safety - worse than for calories
- complete circle to invention of music in babylon and ben stiller
- civilization worked for a while in michigan
  - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  - you don't kill an anthill by killing workers

- billymg finished leaving job; now focused on move to CR
- supposed to be what women are for - making movement easier not harder
- billymg's girl is yet young & miseducated
- but why not put her to the test? do or die; can decide later how to respond to failure based on mitigating circumstances
- billymg inexperienced with movings abroad too
  - ah no! inexperienced at the teaching / judging role.

- MP looking for James Lawson story, internet fails him
  - link to a.b. longstreet stories is dead (or is that the point?)
  - us academia doesn't exist

2020-02-02

From the forum log, 6-18 January 2020

Filed under: Summaries — Jacob Welsh @ 20:55

From #trilema: 2020-01-06 - 2020-01-18.

BingoBoingo reported on "Madre Dios" promoters, LabMD vs. Tiversa, and Iran striking back against US hostilities in Iraq.

Lobbes was planning a Gales install then return to mp-wp logger work.

Asciilifeform's FFA series sprung back into action.

MP and BingoBoingo discussed USG politics between the military, executive and bureaucracy in the context of Iran escalations and Trump impeachment.

MP poked dorion, noting his recent silence after an initial self-imposed overload. Dorion responded in convalescence from his intense Hawaiian cruise.

Diana_coman and spyked investigated feedbot behavior in the face of a deluge of repaired trackbacks in the trilema comments feed. Spyked set himself a deadline for implementing synchronous unsubscribing.

Lulz were had from Warner Brothers, Paul Krugman, and contemplation of the Great Again arriving by way of hot war in the US. One of BingoBoingo's articles attracted some friendly hate-mail apparently from a Vancouver IP.

Trinque was busy with research for his upcoming BusyBox-centered article, and still needed to get the deedbot web view updated. Dorion noted his blog was stripping html tags and links from comments.

Diana_coman republished the current Eulora client and dependency pile, it having otherwise gone offline. Mocky set himself a date to get his portion restored.

Dorion wondered if MP's recent comment about Linux 2.6 being good enough meant bvt should backport his RNG work, and re-poked ave1 about availability for compiler work. MP and bvt figured the backport shouldn't be too hard, due to good decisions in that regard of bvt and asciilifeform. Trinque and dorion seem to be in harmony on software or more general topics, in particular having reasons for decisions and avoiding runaway complexity.

Upon full restoration of deedbot functionality, BingoBoingo proceeded with the mike_c case and MP acknowledged the ~123 BTC claim with minimal further ado, to be settled once he's off the road. He critiqued BingoBoingo's handling of the fee structure.

MP was displeased by link rot on therealbitcoin.org; mod6 repaired it.

Diana_coman wondered about the rationale for detached signatures in V; MP attributed it to an unexamined(i) stand by asciilifeform.

MP reflected on the decline of the US since the 9/11 headshot.

A series of computer graphics articles by diana_coman inspired bvt to write about his formative experiences with the subject. She and MP highlight the benefits of writing vigorously since you never know what spark you might strike.

Lobbes's latest penance piece was well received. MP and diana_coman contemplated how it might have helped phf and when men or women may be too late to be fixed.

MP, lobbes and whaack explored some details of the mp-wp html selection mechanism.

Dorion did some article chasing and reporting on the OS project, and had received a positive response from font of EFI knowledge Rod Smith.

  1. Funny how my Firefox spellchecker doesn't know this word. [^]

2020-01-31

From the forum log, 31 December 2019 - 5 January 2020

Filed under: Summaries — Jacob Welsh @ 22:29

From #trilema: 2019-12-31 through 2020-01-05.

BingoBoingo deployed Qntra DNS service to redundant sites, until the whole fleet ran aground a few days later. Initial reporting suggested the process of propagating records between NSD instances was vulnerable to clock skew. Meanwhile, trinque woke up the deeding part of deedbot from a slumber of unclear duration, and mod6 restored his blog after October's untimely death of the all-conquering ISP in October.(i)

Diana_coman figured it wasn't the start of a new decade because the AD timeline starts at 1.

MP pointed out that seemingly impossible choices of the sort diana_coman was facing in computer graphics are how you know you're getting somewhere.

To assorted lulz with a side of rage, MP brought out a recent Reddit thread wherein a noob's bewilderment on discovering Trilema was answered by Bitcoin Power Ranger Gregory Maxwell with a pile of lies and projection. The trouble of reading with fixed codecs was contemplated, as well as the phenomenon of the inept attempting to emulate institutions they haven't understood while thinking their own superior.

Not unrelatedly, MP stumbled on a quirk of PHP, ascribing it to mental failings of the language's originators.(ii)

BingoBoingo offered four new public Bitcoin nodes for mod6's advertised list.

  1. Leaving Mocky as the last of the lordship still out his mouthpiece. [^]
  2. Such as for example: let's make something that looks like C, because that's popular and all, but For The Web!, fix only its most obvious failings and remain by all appearances unaware that such a thing as Lisp ever existed. [^]

2020-01-30

From the forum log, 30 December 2019

Filed under: Paidagogia, Software, Summaries — Jacob Welsh @ 18:48

From #trilema: 2019-12-30.

MP clarified for trinque that nobody's proposing all software be installed everywhere, and his own point was more about making gradual code and design cleanups so the mess becomes much smaller. A V tree could grow in different directions for different purposes, with a GUI environment likely being an early such split.

He weighed in on the Lisp critique thread. The latest ASDF was wrecked by Francois-Rene Rideau aka fare when the elder Lispers were no longer around to stop it. MP's experience with Lisp code had been that most ended up being Python anyway. He cited the late Erik Naggum on the trouble with free Lisp implementations lacking the more powerful features, but lambasted him for checking out of life before he could do anything useful, along with recent TMSR dropouts. He formulated the purpose of Lisp as for solving closed problems in the most efficient way, once problems are adequately understood.

In computer graphics, the nonsense of "XML shaders" was more popular than diana_coman knew.

Hanbot noted the use of Scheme scripting in Gimp, apropos of both practical Lisp usage and bypassing large dependency trees as seen in ImageMagick.

Mocky said he'll catch up.

MP and diana_coman picked up a discussion from blog comments about Eulora work, wherein various parts are stalled; the project outgrew the world it came from, in terms of both tools and artists. MP explored the art question by comparing valuation of a lone fighter aircraft, to a black-box Go-playing AI, to a cube of colored pixels: all being piles of accumulated tinkering, results of another's process, useless on their own without access to the process. Maintaining infrastructure to cater to the current crop of artists would be costly; growing new talent likewise. Hanbot had once done some Blender character modeling work but got stuck on the last step of exporting to a usable format; unfortunately she didn't recall documenting the struggle. MP posed the practical options as either trawling the entire Internet for artwork and sorting out what's usable, or machine-generating it and doing similar, at least knowing it's in a usable format. Diana_coman wasn't enthused by either. MP was interested in doing the first anyway, inviting unemployed readership to talk.

For the first time ever, MP found himself struggling with recent publication volume. He and diana_coman pointed out some kinks in trinque's blog setup; trinque started looking into it.

2020-01-29

From the forum log, 27-29 December 2019

Filed under: Summaries — Jacob Welsh @ 00:36

From #trilema: 2019-12-27, 2019-12-28, 2019-12-29.

Diana_coman updated some WoT ratings, most notably of asciilifeform.

MP pushed trinque to expand on a point and not redeploy the suppression machine now. He found an article that someone had been looking for, discussing the toddler's notion of a static world and surprise at encountering dynamic equilibrium, but then couldn't recall where the reference had been needed. He noted some shortcomings in a TMSR-OS article by dorion; diana_coman was already on the case.

Mocky returned 1 BTC that MP had lent him in late 2018 toward the cause of escaping stupidity. MP was pleased, but pushed him to get up to speed on the blogging and prospective reporting game that had been stepping up across the board in his absence.

Trinque not having replied yet, MP expanded his own point on the suppression machine: going through life, one is constantly uncovering new personal deficiencies. Each time, one faces a difficult choice: to face and overcome it, painful because it requires killing a part of one's youth; to accept insufficiency; or to pretend it doesn't exist or doesn't matter and eventually end up an overgrown teenage loser (possibly hanging out in #asciilifeform to commiserate). He went on to note that the existence of evil(i) is essential for life to be interesting, but that this doesn't make it any less evil.

Meanwhile, Wikipedia deprecated itself from hanbot's web browser, to amusement all around, and BingoBoingo observed vast police reporting discrepancies on a cocaine bust based on differing local market conditions.

Trinque followed up with willingness to adapt; to that end he was working on an OS article series, and kind-of requested a castle deed. As a teaser, he noted his finding on the weight of the GRUB2 bootloader denominated in units of BusyBox. He tried to get a point through to jfw and dorion that their Gales project didn't exist as a thing worth naming, by reason of building on far larger components, yet he still thought the work was valuable. Dorion characterized it as a stepping stone.

MP was surprised by spyked's feedbot sending him a deluge, but realized this was "user error". He humorously noted the superlative passivity of trinque's deed request, but resolved to grant it.

BingoBoingo was awaiting deedbot processing to proceed with the mike_c case; MP said they'd pick it back up after New Year's.

MP praised the absence of unnecessary scripting language dependencies in the base Gales system, noted by bvt in his installation report. On the question of how practical the system would be for wrangling packages with large dependency graphs, he figured the preferable approach would be to work on trimming down those packages toward sanity and reject traditional notions of "installing". Trinque was keen that this not result in everything ending up installed everywhere; there was brief discussion of the nature or desired shape of V trees.

Experience had soured trinque on the relative usefulness of Lisp, or at least the popular free implementations. He discussed with whaack, pointing out the subtleties of different complexity proxies.

Diana_coman had tried to run trinque's deedbot paste uploader code(ii) and urged him to publish the server part too; he agreed. She had found the SBCL/ASDF "ecosystem" to be a mess rivaling Python.

  1. Or problems. [^]
  2. My own "bash one-liner" for pasting from standard input (it happens to be written in Python, because I tend to have that handy and trust it a bit more than curl):

    import urllib2, urllib, sys; print urllib2.urlopen(urllib2.Request('http://paste.deedbot.org', data=urllib.urlencode([('pastebox', sys.stdin.read())]))).geturl() [^]

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