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This is Ian Ozsvald's blog (@IanOzsvald), I'm an entrepreneurial geek, a Data Science/ML/NLP/AI consultant, author of O'Reilly's High Performance Python book, co-organiser of PyDataLondon, a Pythonista, co-founder of ShowMeDo and also a Londoner. Here's a little more about me.

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21 December 2005 - 16:32Blink.com’s Founder Looks Back

Here’s a cool post from the founder of Blink.com, a failed but well-funded social bookmarking site from 1999. He talks about their past offering given the recent success of the del.icio.us social bookmarking service and their acquisition by Yahoo!.

He laments their mistakes, it’s rare to see someone be quite so open about their decisions:

“This post wasn’t meant as a defense of Blink or my own decisions while I was there. My intent was to show that product design matters. We had more money, more users, a five year head start, and some really, really smart people working on bookmarking in 1999. The bottom line is that we simply didn’t get it right.”

Following the entrepreneurship vein there’s an on-going series of light but good articles (first, second, third) over at 37signals on how to start a new web service by the UK blogger Ryan Carson of BD4D.

No Comments | Tags: Life

15 December 2005 - 17:38John – Thank You!

I’d like to say a huge thank-you to John to helping ShowMeDo take a step forward, we’ve now got a daemonised TurboGears server that runs 24/7 (woot!).

There’s nothing to see yet (really, there’s just a blank page) as I haven’t yet put up any content or the real server…but we’re getting there. Fingers crossed we’ll have the demo site up before Christmas.

1 Comment | Tags: Business Idea

1 December 2005 - 23:23Upgrading Ubuntu, problems and solutions

I’ve just upgraded my Ubuntu linux distribution from “Hoary Hedgehog” to “Breezy Badger”. I ran into some trouble, I’m pretty sure it was all caused by me running out of disk space during the upgrade. For the record I’ve added the process here to go from a broken upgrade to one that works. I also note how to fix Azureus in Breezy (it needs Sun’s java, not the GNU version).

After following the instructions at UbuntuGuide I saw I had errors. I restarted the machine and noted that nothing had changed (time so far – 3 hours of downloading). I started the process again and left it for another 3 hours.

This time it appeared to work so I restarted – and that’s where it all went south. The reboot got as far as the console before stopping. I ran
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
again from the console (for 30 minutes) and it got a bit further. I restarted and got stuck again. The software suggested I run
sudo apt-get -f install
and again it got a little further (about an hour), another reboot, another
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
and now I had a total of 7 errors: postfix, lsb-core, lsb-graphics, lsb-cxx, lsb, mailz, mutt

After this reboot I got to a the Ubuntu graphical log-on screen. Trying to log-in gave me the message "GDM could not write to your authorization file...".

Switching back to the console (Ctrl-Alt-F1) and running
sudo apt-get install
showed that there was a problem with postfix. I used Shift-PgUp and Shift-PgDn to read the messages. Running
sudo postfix stop
stopped the postfix script, and running
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
again resulted (finally) in all packages installing. It reported that mplayer-k6 and gparted were not upgraded (I don’t know if that’s a problem, they seem to work fine now though).

After rebooting again and trying to log-in, the message had suggested I might be out of disk space, a little digging on-line reveals that this was likely to be the case. Using
at the console (I used Ctrl-Alt-F1 to get to a console), I saw that I’d used 100% of my root drive. It seems that apt-get leaves files in the cache, running
sudo apt-get clean
removes about a half-gig of cached files. Switching back to the graphical log-on screen (Ctrl-Alt-F7) and my log-in works.

When I logged in the Language Selector (System->Administrator->Language Selector) asked to upgrade itself, I allowed the defaults and then closed it when finished.

Azureus needed to be fixed, exactly the same problem led to the same solution. I checked
java -version
and saw I had gij v1.4.2. Previously I had Sun’s java, so I ran
sudo update-alternatives --config java
and saw that I had 3 Javas, currently I had /usr/lib/jvm/java-gcj/bin/java, I chose
and then Azureus worked fine.

Now Ubuntu once again works fine and I’m running the latest version. Next time I’ll make sure I have a gig of free space on my root drive.

Update: My HP LaserJet 1010 printer worked first time. I just plugged it in and used System, Administration, Printing, New Printer, chose the HP LaserJet 1010 and it just worked. Woot! I hadn’t even tried installing it in the previous version of Ubuntu over fears I’d need to mess around with a stack of packages.

3 Comments | Tags: Life