Fri, 30 Mar 2007
The Best of 2006
OK, so the AnimeReactor Community Awards for 2006 have been announced. As I had expected, Haruhi won the most categories, and I hereby declare it the winner of my personal category The most overhyped anime of the year 2006. How does my own The best of 2006 look like?
- The Best Overall
- Definitely Eureka Seven (which has not even been nominated in this category by ARC awards jury). Altough I have not seen Mushishi yet.
- Best Story
- Maybe Higurashi no Naku koro ni, but I have seen only few episodes so far. Or Eureka Seven.
- Best Character Development
- Eureka Seven, altough Black Lagoon and Shuffle! are close enough.
- Best Animation/Visual Effects
- Maybe Eureka again, I usually do not pay attention to this aspect when watching anime. Eureka has wonderful and imaginative landscapes. Mai-Otome was also interesting from this point of view.
- Best Soundtrack
- Mai-Otome. Nothing can beat an OST from Yuuki Kajiura. The ARC winner - Eureka Seven - had some interesting songs too, but as a whole - Mai-Otome OST is at least one level above it.
- Best Opening/Ending
- As for the songs, probably Eureka Seven. Black Lagoon had an interesting opening, but the ending was boring. The same for Higurashi no Naku koro ni. Also Fate/stay night was close. As for the opening/ending animation, Fate/stay night and Eureka Seven win there.
- Best Action/Martial Arts
- I agree with both ARC Awards jury and AnimeReactor community that Black Lagoon is a clear winner there.
- Best Adventure/Fantasy
- Fate/stay night. I have to admit that Zero no tsukaima was also an interesting, yet different, fantasy.
- Best Drama
- I am not much to this genre, but maybe Shuffle! (esp. the last third of this series) can count as a drama?
- Best Romance/Love story
- I don't know what exactly is meant by this genre, but does Fate/stay night count as romance? If not, then I vote for Shuffle!.
- Best Comedy
- Zero no tsukaima.
- Best Fanservice/Ecchi
- Maybe Zero no tsukaima again.
- Best Sci-Fi/Mecha
- As for the later part, Eureka Seven. As for the former, maybe Noein (altough I have not seen all eps yet). I have also seen Starship Operators, which is excellent (and underappreciated), but it is older than 2006.
- Best Thriller/Mystery/Horror
- Higurashi looks promising so far, and I have not seen anything else from this genre.
- Best Male Character
- I would say Holland from Eureka Seven. Maybe Archer from Fate/stay night as well. Why often supporting characters are more interesting for me than the leading ones?
- Best Female Character
- Shinon fron Starship Operators, maybe Asa Shigure from Shuffle!. Whoa! Finally some leading characters there.
- Best Villain
- Nobody is more evil than lady Balalaika from Black Lagoon.
What interesting anime have you seen last year?
Thu, 29 Mar 2007
Order of the Stick
Have you ever played a fantasy role-playing game like Dungeons & Dragons[?] (or a local variant Dračí doupě)? And did you enjoy it? Then you may want to have a look at the Order of the Stick, a quite funy web comics, which takes place inside the RPG. The image is taken from the OotS cast page.
Wed, 28 Mar 2007
On the positive side:
- Postfix can reject mail inside the SMTP session, so we are not sending delayed bounces anymore. Thus our average mail queue size is down to about 500 mails, while it has been between 50k and 100k messages with Qmail.
- I have installed ClamAV antivirus, and it apparently catches some malware, which passes through the university relay (even though they run a commercial antivirus software on it).
- Probably because of the lower mail queue length, the peak throughput of the mailserver went from about 1200 messages per 5 minutes (a daily maximum) to almost 2400 messages per 5 minutes (also a daily maximum). I don't think Postifx is that much faster itself.
- The gateway from our listserver to the usenet news works again - setting it up has been a matter of few clicks to the Mailman web interface. Nice!
- The Mailman web interface allows me to delegate more admin tasks to particular list owners.
As you can see, the positives are mostly related to Postfix. On the other hand, the negatives are mostly related to EZMLM to Mailman move:
- The loop detection is not even remotely as good in Mailman as it was in EZMLM - the first day after the move we had a mail loop in the Docbook list, which we have stopped after maybe 1500 mails.
- Mailman tends to overreact to the list members, whose MTAs reject spams
or viruses in the SMTP session: the resulting bounce leads to the suspended
membership, probe messages, and many other kinds of annoyances. With
VERP[?] the situation seems to be a little better, but subjectively it is still worse than with EZMLM, which has been almost maintainance-free.
- Our Nagios several times a day warns me that the FTP service running on the same host is in the "critical" state. When I check it up, it looks prefectly OK.
I suspect that the load peak when distributing a message to our biggest list, or something like that (Wietse Venema's overuse of
- Mailman is programmed in Python! Apart from few very basic tasks,
which have their standalone commands, everything other has to be done in Python.
It even does not have the text-based or SQL-based data storage,
and it stores everything in Python "pickles" (which as I understand it is
something like Perl's
- Pipermail (the Mailman default web-based frontend to the list archive) sucks. I need to get some time to connect my own web-based archive, which I have used with EZMLM) with mailman.
Maybe I am doing something wrong, because I don't think I have these problems with other Mailman-based lists I am member of. Need to get some sample settings which other list owners use somewhere.
Tue, 13 Mar 2007
I wanted to buy something at patro.cz (a local e-shop), and after placing an order I have received the acknowledgement mail, informing me which parts of my order are available immediately and which ones will be available later:
Následující zboží jsme schopni expedovat ihned:
- 1 x Poštovné
- 1 x Balné
We can ship the following parts immediately:
- 1 x Shipping fee
- 1 x Packaging fee
I have sent them a reply telling them it is OK to ship both fees now and the thing I ordered later :-)
Mon, 12 Mar 2007
The postmaster of the
muni.cz domain has finally enabled
greylisting on the central
muni.cz relay. About two weeks ago
for our faculty subdomain,
fi.muni.cz, a week ago for
linux.cz domain as well.
As for my personal mailbox, yestedays monthly rotate of the spambox revealed
that I had slightly above 50 000 spams last month, which is a 50% drop
from the previous month. Given the greylisting has been active for two weeks
only (or a single week for
linux.cz), the real number is somewhere
around 75-80%. Not bad, isn't it?
Tue, 06 Mar 2007
Notify in Advance
For a long time we have planned to migrate our Faculty web server to Apache 2, getting rid of the aging Apache 1.3 + charset conversion module (do you still remember the time when browsers could handle just one character set - the one native on the system they ran under - and the web server had to recode the documents (and CGI script outputs and many other things) to match the expected charset of the client?).
Because of the new Apache, some configuration directives have changed
(including the ones users use in their
So we first made the Apache 2 running in parallel with 1.3 (on
a different port), so that users can test whether their pages would work
even under the new Apache. Three weeks or so before the upgrade we
have sent the in-advance notification to users, where we have pointed
out the most common directives which are no longer valid in Apache 2,
told the users that they can test their pages on the different port,
and stated the expected date of a switchover.
Few days before the upgrade we have sent the similar notification again, and put an announce to the electronic noticeboard in our Information system. Last Thursday we have finally switched the webserver to Apache 2 as expected.
Guess what happened:
even today, 6 days after the upgrade, users keep calling or mailing: "my web
pages do not work, did you do something to the web server by chance?".
When I point out that they got two e-mails from us, they are simply not aware
of it (in one case I even grepped the user's mailbox for the
Message-Id, and of course, the announcement message
was still sitting in this user's mailbox). What should I do with users who
do not even bother to read an e-mail from us and then complain? One would expect
that users at Faculty of Informatics should not display the same levels
of lameness as ordinary users...
Mon, 05 Mar 2007
Japanese Numbers and Times
The topic of recent Japanese lessons was dates, time, and numbers. I found that even though I can say the numbers properly, I am very slow with it, as I always have to count from 1 to the desired number to find the right word :-(. So I have decided to write computer-based selftests for Japanese numbers, dates, and time.
For a long time I wanted to get know the applications
for self-tests in our Information system.
Japanese selftests were a good excuse to learn this agenda.
are available for anyone logged in to the IS MU. Click to the green icon
to the left of the "
.qdesc" file, and choose "Click to work
with ROPOT." ("Zodpovědět odpovědník" in Czech).
As a side effect, I put the code for converting integers to Kanji and Hiragana
to a separate module, so when I get some time to package it, I will upload
it to CPAN, probably as
Numbers::Japanese or something similar.