Blackview Tab 11, a good budget tablet

, 19/04/2022 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

Last year a family member told me that her compact mobile phone’s screen is too small to show family photos properly to her friends. She said her friends use tablets to show their family’s photos, and she asked me if it would be possible to access her existing WhatsApp account via a tablet. I explained […]

Configuring Jenkins to accept a self signed https certificate for git

Dirk Olmes
, 30/03/2022 | Source: Infoschnipsel und Wissenswertes

I recently did a setup of Jenkins that had to access git repositories via https on a server that only had a self signed certificate. Here are the bits and pieces that I had to configure.

Ignoring SSL warnings in git

Since all git traffic was internal I chose not to bother too much about this isssue and just disable http certificate checks in git. If you run the command

git config --global http.sslVerify true

an entry like this will be added to your .gitconfig:

    sslVerify = false

We’ll have to put this .gitconfig in a couple of places to enable Jenkins accessing the git server.

Jenkins master

Certain operations are performed on the master itself, e.g. scanning the repo for branches in multibranch pipelines. The .gitconfig mentioned above must be placed into /var/jenkins_home/.gitconfig on the master. In my case this was a Docker setup so I mounted the file into the container.

Jenkins worker

Before the first build step of a pipeline actually runs Jenkins does a git checkout on the worker node. Even if you choose to run your build inside a Docker container the checkout happens before the container is actually started. So the user running the Jenkins agent must be configured with the .gitconfig mentioned above, too.

Not covered here

I’m sure there are other places where a git checkout happens in Jenkins, e.g. if you do a checkout as part of a pipeline using the checkout() function in a Jenkinsfile. Since I don’t use that functionality right now I did not bother to go into details here.

Using GeckoLinux to resurrect my old nettop

, 03/02/2022 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

    Background/History Back in early 2010, when nettops were the latest thing, I bought an ASRock ION 330HT nettop, billed as an ‘HTPC‘ (Home Theatre PC): CPU: Intel Atom 330 1.6GHz (Dual core) Memory: Supports DDR2 800MHz, 2 x SO-DIMM slots, default 2GB (2 x 1GB), maximum up to 4GB (due to the CPU […]

Gentoo Linux: Building/rebuilding a kernel and Intel CPU microcode in an installation with initramfs

, 19/01/2022 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

In a 2014 post I explained how to update the Intel CPU microcode in a Gentoo Linux installation with an initramfs (I use sys-kernel/genkernel to build the kernel in the installation on my Compal NBLB2 laptop, which is running the Testing Branch of Gentoo Linux although the branch is not important). The initscript method (Method […]

Work-around if movie subtitles restart after the final subtitle is displayed

, 23/11/2021 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

If I’m watching movies in a language I don’t understand, I want subtitles. On my computers this is possible as long as there is a subtitles file with the name suffix .srt and the same prefix name as the .mp4 video file in the same directory. I usually prefer to view movies on my TV […]

‘IP configuration was unavailable’: a laptop cannot connect wirelessly to a router

, 11/11/2021 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

I recently switched my ISP from BT to Virgin Media because the speed and reliability of the broadband connection were low. A Virgin Media Hub 3 was supplied as part of the package, and the TV, laptops (Gentoo Linux, Windows 10 and macOS), desktops (Lubuntu and Windows 10), tablets and phones (Android and iOS) could […]

Gentoo Linux: Building/rebuilding a kernel and Intel CPU microcode in an installation without initramfs

, 26/10/2021 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

In a 2016 post I explained how to update the Intel CPU microcode in a Gentoo Linux Stable Branch installation without an initramfs (I do not use sys-kernel/genkernel to build the kernel in the installation on my Clevo W230SS laptop). The behaviour of the tool sys-apps/iucode_tool for updating the Intel CPU microcode has changed since […]

A cube, a quintillion dollars coin and the power of decimals

Last week stood out by some popular discussions about minting a particularly huge bullion coin to avoid a Debt Ceiling default of the United States of America’s Federal Government. More precisely, a one Trillion USD platinum bullion coin. While I’m not an expert on American right nor do I have any opinion about if such a project is wise or not, contrary to what some Twitter commenters suggested to my thread:

To be fair, I genuinely wondered what such a bullion coin would look like if it was indeed made of one Trillion dollars worth of platinum at the current valuation. In case you’re more interested in the former legal aspects of such a project, I encourage you to go through this more law-oriented blog post from Preston Byrne, who, as an American lawyer, is I suppose much better informed about American rights than I’ll ever be.

Therefore, in this blog post, I’m going through where this idea came from, how I made my calculation and initially done a volume conversion mistake. It’s also an occasion for me to test more in-depth this \(\LaTeX\) javascript library 1. Now that our workplace is set, let’s follow the sheep:

This whole idea started with an old article from Wired 2013, I ended up there by googling something like “$1T platimium coin volume”, and while the article is a bit old to be relevant, my main source of annoyance was:

Such a coin would weigh 42,778,918 pounds – the equivalent of nearly seven Saturn V rockets – and occupy 31,947 cubic feet.

As a reminder here is the map of all the countries in the World which are not officially using the metric system:

Non metric countries

So let’s start back the calculus in a system that everyone can follow. While prices keep fluctuating, one kg of platinum is currently worth around $31500, so from here we can check the conjectural weight of one Trillion worth of platinum:

$$ \frac{$1 T}{$31.5k} = \frac{10^{12}}{31.5 \times 10^3} \approx 31.7 \times 10^6kg$$

Or 31.7k tons of platinum or between 150 and 200 years of platinum mining depending on the year you use as a reference. I can read online that one cubic meter of platinum weighs 21.45 tons, from there we can easily determine the volume of this Trillion coin:

$$ \frac{31.7 \times 10^3}{21.45} \approx 1.48 \times 10^3m^3$$

And it’s here where I’ve done a dumb mistake in the rush, I wanted to find a visual to understand what 1000 \(m^3\) would look like and in my mind one kilometer is the addition of 1000 meters. And that’s here that the power of decimals is coming in:

$$km$$ $$ 10^3 m$$
$$km^2$$ $$10^3m \times 10^3m = 10^6 m^2$$
$$km^3$$ $$10^3m \times 10^3m \times 10^3m = 10^9 m^3$$

Ultimately the one trillion dollar coin would be one-third bigger than an Airbus A380 which has a total hold volume of 1134\(m^3\). Thus not as big as Manhattan’s giant towers, but already quite significant in size.

Airbus A380

For fun and glory, let’s reverse engineer the theoretical worth price of my initial one cubic kilometer platinum bullion coin initially represented next to Manhattan island:

one kilometer cube

For this nothing easier, we just have to divide the volume of this cube by the volume of our theoric Trillion dollar platinum coin:

$$ \frac{10^9 m^3}{1.48 \times 10^3 m^3} \approx 6.76 \times 10^5T$$

We can now confidently say that this cube is a 0.67 quintillion dollars bullion platinum coin!

  1. Which oddly enough is the only library I’m serving from a CDN, see my Privacy policy ↩︎

Browsing a WebDAV share in Linux and Windows 10

, 27/09/2021 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

In this post I explain how I configured my machines running two Linux distributions (Gentoo Linux and Lubuntu 20.10) and my Windows 10 test machine to enable me to browse a shared folder on my file server (running ownCloud, in my case) that uses the WebDAV protocol. I cover two options for configuring Linux to […]

Removing PipeWire in Gentoo Linux

, 30/07/2021 | Source: Fitzcarraldo's Blog

PipeWire, all the rage these days, was originally developed for video but was later enhanced to support audio as well, and is now an alternative to PulseAudio and JACK. My laptop running Gentoo Stable (amd64) with the KDE Plasma Desktop had been working fine with PipeWire for some time. The pulseaudio and screencast USE flags […]