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In a radical departure from asking people what they're wearing, I would now like to ask for help with git. If you don't understand the question, just be very grateful and move on ;-)

When an incoming git pull suffers a merge failure[*], why, why, does git decide to compound the problem by staging every modified file it can lay its grubby little paws on?

I assumed that if I started typing "why does git stage..." into Google it would auto-complete with all the various phrases distressed people all over the internet have typed in. It does not, and I can't find anyone writing about it. For bonus points, tell me how to stop it doing this - but I'll settle for understanding the rationale behind it!

[*] Which, if the two versions have changed lines anywhere near each other, it will
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Ha! I am stuck in a traffic jam on the way home from Whitby. I'd just dropped [livejournal.com profile] davefish off at his workplace when the M1 ground to a complete halt. Handbrake on, then phone out, then engine off.

But I have just discovered that, when I packed the 4G Wi-Fi dongle we've been using this weekend in our cottage, I didn't turn it off. It's sitting in a bag in the boot, providing me with a decent internet connection.

All traffic jams should have Wi-Fi :)

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Good grief, LJ. Previous entries seem to have had spaces removed from before each occurrence of the word "and". What the hell are you playing at?

Test sentence:

Come and have a go.
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For anyone who - like me - is forced to use Windows 8/8.1, but hates lots of the non-negotiable features, I commend to you Winaero. From them, you can download two lightweight programs which:

1. Allow you to turn off the bottom-right hot corner, meaning the stupid Charms menu doesn't pop up all the time (Charms Bar Killer runs in your systray, and allows you to turn various hot corners on and off).

2. Allow you to fine-tune, and indeed turn off, the taskbar thumbnail previews meaning the the silly little windows don't pop over the thing you're trying to look at (Taskbar Thumbnail Tuner is a run-when-you-need-it selection of extra settings, including the mighty "disable thumbnails" tickybox).

(There are various registry hacks proposed on t'internet to solve both of these. I haven't tried them.)

If the above are features you like and use, then hurrah! However, in my case they were nothing but a source of irritation.

I think nearly 12 months of locating settings, finding obscure menus, and downloading extra bits means that I'm now willing to declare a sort of armed truce with Windows 8 (or, actually, 8.1 now). It has agreed to keep all its spurious Mac-esque eye-candy and ridiculous Metro nonsense out of my way, and I've conceded that a very small amount of the new functionality is useful.
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In newJob, I am encountering the Djanog web framework for the first time. The biggest problem seems, thus far, to be that I can't type Djanog. This makes API calls fail, makes finding stuff online mildly annoying, and makes me look like an idiot in emails.

Bloody Djanog.
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Yesterday was the annual F5-fest of Glastonbury tickets going on sale. Which was made considerably more protracted because Seetickets were having "technical issues" for the first 30 minutes of the sale period.

I was also watching #glastonbury on the twitters. Lots of people berated Seetickets for their poor timing in having "technical issues" the day Glasto tickets go on sale. Er, y'know? I don't think it's coincidental. I think we, the Glastonbury punters, pretty much are the technical issues.

From the numbers I've seen, there were a million people registered to buy 135,000 tickets. That means a lot of disappointed people. And that's not Seetickets' fault. Once the issues were resolved, Seetickets were churning through 3000 ticket sales a minute on servers that were being hit by many times more people than that. Servers really aren't my specialist area, but I'm pretty sure that's not a trivial problem to solve. Compared to a decade ago, the ticket sales are incredibly smoothly handled.

Does anyone know much about large-scale servers? )
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So, that time has come. The time when you accept that your mobile phone is not long for this world, and you need to sort out a replacement.

Unfortunately, the phone I want does not exist.

I want a high-end Android device which is physically small )

Current working plan is to backup all the data from my existing phone, do a factory reset, and hope that'll clear it up enough to let me squeeze a few more months' use out of it while I try to make a decision, and hope some new phones come out.
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Aargh. This afternoon I have been staring at a little spinny egg-timer.

I don't mean I've been waiting for something to happen, and doing other stuff while the timer spins.

I mean my actual job has involved me watching a little spinny egg-timer. Carefully. All afternoon.

(Mostly I'm hoping to catch it glitching, so I can immediately leap on it and investigate the logs to see why it did that. However, in the usual manner it seems that adding logging has changed a hard-to-reproduce bug into an impossible-to-reproduce bug. Bother.)
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Once upon a time, there was a dance team that wanted a flyer. A nice, A4, tri-fold flyer. Dr Fiona heroically tackled it. Then she said sod this, Word is a fair bugger, I cannot get the columns to line up nicely on both sides of the paper.

Haha, I thought, I am so very clever, I will use a downloadable tri-fold flyer template from Office Online. And lo, I did, and it was also a fair bugger because it is completely un-customisable. You want three folds? Well, some of it will be bright orange. No other colour is available. Just bright orange.

After an awful lot of fiddling about, I finally had something I was at least not-unhappy with. And then I printed out a trial run, and it turns out the US-centric world of Office Online makes its tri-fold flyer templates for Letter sized paper. Not A4. Which I had not checked. I am, in fact, not so very clever after all. I imagine the template can be tweaked, but then it's back to the original problem of getting columns to line up manually. I haven't even successfully worked out how to get three evenly-spaced columns yet :( I've never liked Word.

Does anyone have... a tri-fold A4 template, a better knowledge of Word than I have, a burning desire to show off their graphic-design skills, or a large bottle of gin[*]?

Any assistance greatly appreciated.

Edit Or, of course, does anyone have a source of Letter paper, a colour/duplex printer that will handle it, and a generic willingness to assist in exchange for cake? (I have never owned a printer, I have no idea if they mostly do Letter...)

[*] Not strictly relevant, but I might stop caring about the flyer...
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To the people who keep complaining that I don't tell them when my sword-dance team are dancing: I've now added an RSS feed to the website, which should hopefully keep you updated.

http://www.mabelgubbins.co.uk/rss.xml, or go the site and click the nice orange button.

(And to everyone who says I'm very slack about updating the Mabel diary: no, we really have done next to bugger-all in the past few years!)
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Aww. When large institutions try to engage with the modern world, it's quite cute.

This morning I rang the doctors' surgery. "Hello," I said, "I want to order a repeat prescription, which I think you now prefer me to do over email. How do I register for this service?"

The receptionist who'd answered ummed and erred for a bit. Then she ahhed. Then she asked me to wait a moment. Then she came back on the line and ummed a bit more, and asked me to hold again.

Eventually she came back on the line and asked: "Do you have a fax number?"

I said no, I didn't. She erred some more. Eventually, she took my phone number so she could call me back to explain the prodecure to me.

She just phoned back. I was braced for a fairly intricate registration process. It turns out that what I have to do is send them an email them stating which prescription I require.

She's now given me the "email number" and I'm all good to go.
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There is something wrong with the world. In my day-job, I regularly use two different IDEs: Visual Studio and Eclipse. Because I'm like that, I have Eclipse set up to use Emacs as its text editor.

So, I'm regularly switching between environments with different key-bindings. In one IDE, I can sort out the indentation on code by hitting Ctrl-I. In the other, it's Ctrl-K Ctrl-F.

Here's the weird bit: Ctrl-K Ctrl-F is Visual Studio.

To anyone who has no idea what I'm talking about, the correct response is "wow, that's quite surprising, you'd expect it to be the other way round". If you want to make a more oblique comment, you could say http://xkcd.com/378/.
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On them twitters, people often create their own hash tags on the fly, running words together to create #devastatingnewtags.

Last night, I happened to see something go past with the a tag which I read as "cannot bear sed". Well, having had a bit of a run-in with sed recently, I can get behind that.

It was only some time later that I realised that they were probably reporting "cannot be arsed".

[livejournal.com profile] hjalfi thinks this incident means it's too late for me to resume a normal life :(
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A while back, I tried to comment on a blogspot post using my LJ as OpenID credentials. I got the error message "Your OpenID credentials could not be verified."

Ah well, I thought, never mind. Try again later. However, that's been the result for the past few months whenever I've tried to use LJ as OpenID.

Today I pottered over to read a post on Dreamwidth, and logged in with OpenID successfully. However, although I could see the (locked) post, when I tried to look at the comments it asked me to log in. When I tried to log in, it said "duh, you're already logged in, venta.livejournal.com".

Anyone know what's going on? I've successfully read comments (and indeed posted comments) at Dreamwidth before, and on other blogging places, using LJ for OpenID, but now nothing seems to work any more...

(So to all the people saying of their Dreamwidth accounts "you can comment here using OpenID", er... no, I can't ;)

Update: One of the known issues on the LJ Support page is "OpenID is currently not working with some other services". So I guess I just wait til they fix it...
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Yesterday I updated some of my details in my LJ account. Since then, all my comment notification emails have begun arriving in HTML format.

I've checked, and I still have it set to "plain text". I even swapped to HTML format and back to plain text in case it helped.

It didn't.

Does anyone know anything about this? Or, more importantly, how to make it go away?
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Scary days. This morning, I brought the new mobile phone I've had in waiting for some time into play. I faffed around a bit transferring my contacts from my old phone, then on the train had a play around with it to see what had changed.

New phones, like new computers, are weird. Everything's empty - no messages, no files, everything pristine and factory-resetted (resat?). The "Pictures" directory on my phone contained nothing but a few stock images... some rather lovely stylised flowers and animals, a pyschedelic bridge, a couple of variants of my network's logo, and a blurry picture of [livejournal.com profile] dmh.

What!? )

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