Eric D. Schabell: February 2008

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ubuntu x86_64 C compiler cannot create executables

Today after an update I started to get this error when trying to compile software from source:

C compiler cannot create executables

A bit of searching and I seemed to need some extra packages, you can fix this with:
$ sudo aptitude install libc6-dev-i386

This resulted in the packages gcc-4.1-multilib gcc-multilib getting automatically installed. This was the fix for me.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Moving deadline approaching

Finished up the painting on Saturday, you wouldn't believe the damage I have done to my hands after 7 days straight painting these granulated walls... but it is done. Some pictures this time of the clothes, as you can see it gets to be a bit messy!

I spent Sunday mostly just taking it easy, but in the evening I thought it might be a good idea to fill up the water heater system as the pressure was registering at 0 bar (it should be around 2 bar). I borrowed a hose from a friend and filled the heater up, which immediately started to spit out water through a broken overflow valve. Sigh, here we go again. We thought this might be a problem as the water heater is over 12 years old and was last checked by the previous owners in 2002 (they basically have done nothing of the basic maintenance on the house, I have run into all kinds of simple chores that result from lazy / incapable owners). We have a full service contract on our current water heater that we wanted to transfer over, they were nice about it when we called. The man they sent over the next day went through the water heater and replaced 5 parts, basically all core components were rotten. We are up and running with warm water and heating again. He was also nice enough to clean out the central house fan next to the heater when my wife asked him about it.

Monday was spent laying out the floor in our bedroom, which I did together with my buddy Robert. We spent about 2 hours on it, was not really a problem. We spent the rest of the afternoon taking apart our great big floor to ceiling clothes closet, as you can see it is a bit of a monster (Robert's face is altered in the picture to protect the innocent). I was glad to get this done so I could take over all of our cloths in the evening. I spent some time setting up the living room book cases and emptied out about 8 boxes into them.

Tuesday I spent home with the kids so the wife could clean up the new house. The kitchen, pantry, bathroom, bath, etc. I took apart the kids bedrooms and boxed up some of their clothing/toys. We are doing really good with all this planning and preparing so far.

Tomorrow I need to fill the hold where the wall was for the new kids room door. It needs some concrete and time to dry so that the carpeting coming can be laid down over it. Busy, busy!

Friday, February 22, 2008

New house week one

After a weeks work on the new house we are almost there. As I posted yesterday, we shopped for the flooring for our bedroom and some other things.

Getting ready for that job required pulling up the remaining old carpeting on the stairs, the hallway, and in our bedroom. I also put together a new table and chair set we bought, moved some boxes from the old house along with a bookcase. I also painted the hallway and cleaned up the remaining three rooms so that I can complete the painting tomorrow.

We will now have to focus on the old house, taking apart the various things that need to be ready for the moving truck and packing up the rest into boxes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Painting moving along nicely

The last three days have seen a finishing of the downstairs painting. The living room, the addition in the back, and the hallway have been painted. The hall leading up the stairs is almost finished and the kids rooms have been wallpapered on the new dividing wall. My wife gets all the credit for the wallpaper, I have no patience for that stuff!

As you can see, my little girl gets the pink flowers. She is very young yet but has a very clear sense of what colors she wants, "Daddy, it has to be pink!" I love her for that.

My son is too young to have a real preference so he gets the green wall which goes along with the baby furniture he has. Later we can always change this should he want something more boyish in there.

I have also changed all but one of the faucets in the house. They were all original fittings so where way over due for a change. In the kitchen I discovered that the plumber had fitted the faucet and then soldered the pipes for warm/cold water in, making it impossible to remove it. I had to break off the pipes first, what a bozo. Also the warm water fitting was from a 12mm pipe to a 10mm hose fitting the faucet. I needed a standard 12mm to 12mm connection. Now the fun part, the cold water fitting was from a pipe of 15mm to a 10mm hose fitting the faucet. Nice... by the time I got that all worked out I had taken three trips to the local hardware store and was a bit wet from the water spraying about. You can get me all wet, but I won't give up! ;-)

A trip to the IKEA store today got us sorted out for the flooring for one of the bedrooms. I also spent some time cleaning up the downstairs and threw out all the paper I had put on the floor to protect the wood. After the kitchen gets cleaned up we can use the downstairs living space, color that done!

Plan for the coming days is to work days at the new house to finish painting the upstairs hall, the kids rooms, our room, lay down the new floor in our room, and pull out all the old carpeting. I want to start spending the evenings packing up stuff at our old house and taking apart things like book shelves, beds, closets, etc. Enough to do, but we feel like we are on schedule.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Paint, paint, and more paint

Yesterday and today were all about painting the living areas downstairs. Yesterday I spent the morning covering up the tile floor in the kitchen and taping off things that needed to stay clean before painting over 70 square meters of ceilings. After this I started to paint some of the walls to see if the color was right that we had chosen. Of course it was not, so wasted about 2 hours on that. :-P

In the evening I cleaned up the mess left over from the days destruction work which was quite the mess as you can see.

On top of all of that, I moved over about 16 boxes of books which were heavy as hell. From the top floor of our old house to the top floor of the new house and dump them out on the floor. I over did it a bit and have a bit of trouble with my back (muscles hurt).

The back pain kept me slowed down today, so I spent it just painting the walls in the kitchen and living room. The kitchen is completed, my first victory! I covered about half of the living room after we got the right paint this time...

Tomorrow I hope to finish up painting the downstairs, then it is up to the first floor to work on our rooms. We will also be picking out wallpaper for the kids rooms and paint. This will be left up the the Schabell ladies to sort out.

It was -6 degrees celsius last night and the the Mini was in the warm garage... gotta love that! :-)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Mass destruction in one day

Today we bashed out a wall to make way for a new door and put up a new wall to split a room into two. This was the preparations for the kids rooms (will try to publish some pictures soon). That went pretty good except that there is now a fine layer of white powder all over the first floor. I stuffed towels under the other rooms doors to try and keep it down to a minimum, but when we opened the windows to ventilate it looked like the house was on fire from the outside! There is now a big pile of debris in the backyard, ready to move off to the dump.

My daughter comes along daily to help a bit, here she is busy cleaning the kitchen. She acts as the inspection service, checking each room about every 10 minutes. Sort of a walk-through, making sure things are progressing and pointing out the problems, " room needs more pink Daddy...". ;-)

I spent the entire day filling holes in the walls, covering the wooden floor with cardboard, and taping off the things we do not need painted. I also removed the curtain rails so that I can paint the ceilings there too. Tomorrow I start painting the ground floor.

In the evening I filled our car with boxes of stuff we already had packed previously and dumped them in the attic. This is a process I will repeat over the next weeks up to the actual move. It will save time and hassle I hope.

Did I mention that the Mini is in the garage? I love seeing it in there, happy as a clam. It can be heated too! ;-)

Friday, February 15, 2008

Signed the papers

Today we officially own a new house.

At 1100 hrs we had an inspection walk through, found only minor problem (cracked tiles when they fixed a broken tile floor), but nothing to stop the purchase from going through today. We went to the notary for our 1200 hrs appointment and spent the better part of an hour listening to the contracts being read out loud. Finally, signing both the transfer of ownership and morgage papers we left with the keys to our new house!

We went home and had a celebration lunch and called the power company to make sure that they kept the electricity on for us. After that we loaded up the starter stuff, like tools and cleaning gear. But first things first, the Austin Mini has now been taken off the street and put in its own comfy garage!

I made a run to the home improvement store to pick up some cheap lighting fixtures, new bulbs, and a big strong work lamp (which I can use later for the Mini) for painting at night. I also had to pull up the carpet in the room which is to be split in two by a new wall for the kids. Peter, our carpenter came by and took measurements so that he can place the wall and cut a new door tomorrow. The carpet guy dropped in and took final measurements. I also slowly started turning up the heat so that it will be nicer for painting starting tomorrow.

The only think I found broken was the upstairs toilet. It was turned off (not filling the tank with water) so I turned it on. The pipe under neath started to spray water around the bathroom, so turned it off an applied some pipe tape to the fitting which solved this problem. I am planning to apply kit sealant to the edges of the tile floors in the bathrooms to make the floors look a bit nicer.

A quick inventory of the painting showed that we will most likely not have to paint any ceilings upstairs at all, they are very nice as is. The walls will have to be done in all the rooms on the first floor and I would like to do the bathroom upstairs as well. The top floor will be left until later, it is of no importance now. The living room, entry hall, and kitchen will get the ceilings painted and walls too.

After dinner we took our little girl through for a tour, showed her what her room will be. She wanted to look through the entire house, every room, every cupboard, every door. Very cute, as she stated that she really likes our new house but that her 'princess room' needs some work yet. Nothing is pink in there! ;-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

PRIMA project is drawing interest

The internship project I am mentoring here at my work has started to take off. The PRoject Information Monitoring Application (PRIMA) has finished it's first Scrum sprint iteration and they are doing pretty well.

As you can see here in the picture, the two guys behind our interns are taking in the project (imagine the "Oooh, Aaaah's") while enjoying some snacks.

Since the Kickoff they have been working hard and you can follow their progress almost daily at the PRIMA blog. Feel free to comment their posts as they search for their solutions.

A small screenshot from one proof of concepts shows that in a short time they have been able to understand the existing software architecture, employ various tooling, and generate their first output screens. This is promising progress!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

First cycling trip of the year

The best part of this weekend was that it was sunny enough to take a ride! We have had three days of nothing but spring weather, around 10-12 degrees and plenty of sunshine so I arranged to cycle from home to Uden and back. Took it easy but after riding so much on the heavy street bike in January (see totals below) I was able to easily hold 30 km/hr averages on the open road.

The trip back was a bit tougher, had the wind in my face and the sun was very low making it hard to even see the road ahead. Pretty tired for the rest of the day, but was great to try out my new gear. I have a new helmet, clothing set from SNS REEAL, new pedal/clip set from Shimano, and new shoes.

Total for the ride was 74 km, a good start for 2008!

PS. Total for the month of January was 260 km, all on my normal bike from home to work. I have about 20 km round trip each day I go so that adds up pretty quickly.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Geek t-shirt day!

Here are the results of the first annual Geek t-shirt day within our development team.

The turnout of developers with a Geek t-shirt was about 50% of the total population working that day. We have one MySql joke, three Java t-shirts, one self-made creation (the crazy guy on the floor), a lost boy scout (actually, he is our boss), some rival bank joke shirt that no one got (the green one), and believe it or not we had two foreign shirts from Indonesia/India.

All in all it was rather funny to see who is able to Geek it up a bit. I forgot that I had a few important meetings today and was a bit embarrassing to show up for some meetings outside our department where the rest of the heavy hitters were dressed in a more appropriate banking attire. ;-)