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Thursday, 22 August 2019 Dereel Images for 22 August 2019
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FAT file directory size
Topic: technology Link here

Mail from Harold Gutch today, with a reference to Monday's article about SD file limits, and pointing me at Design of the FAT file system. It seems that the root directory is handled differently:

This is a Directory Table that stores information about the files and directories located in the root directory. It is only used with FAT12 and FAT16, and imposes on the root directory a fixed maximum size which is pre-allocated at creation of this volume. FAT32 stores the root directory in the Data Region, along with files and other directories, allowing it to grow without such a constraint.

That makes sense, but further reading at File Allocation Table states:

The number of root directory entries available for FAT12 and FAT16 is determined when the volume is formatted, and is stored in a 16-bit field. For a given number RDE and sector size SS, the number RDS of root directory sectors is RDS=ceil((RDE×32)/SS), and RDE is normally chosen to fill these sectors, i.e., RDE*32=RDS*SS. FAT12 and FAT16 media typically use 512 root directory entries on non-floppy media. Some third-party tools, like mkdosfs, allow the user to set this parameter.

OK, nothing for it. Is it even FAT-16? These limitations don't apply to FAT-32, and the card is (just) small enough for FAT-16. And who formatted it? Time to take a look at the card—mañana.

Weather station fail
Topic: technology, general Link here

Into the office this more to find lots of log messages, repeating about every 5 seconds:

Aug 22 08:01:57 eureka kernel: pid 19289 (yreport), uid 0: exited on signal 11 (core dumped)
Aug 22 08:02:01 eureka wh1080: Can't read device: Device busy or Unknown error (16)
Aug 22 08:02:03 eureka kernel: pid 19292 (yreport), uid 0: exited on signal 11 (core dumped)

wh1080 is the program that controls my weather station and saves the results in a database. yreport is one of the programs that processes the saved data, and it wasn't finding any. I should check why it SIGSEGVs instead of producing a usable error message, but the more immediate question was why wh1080 couldn't read the device. OK, this thing is really flaky, and I continually had to physically disconnect the USB connector. But this time it didn't work.

OK, fire up gdb, not something I do very frequently any more. Yes, no trouble opening the device. But it hung on the read. Why?

Removed the batteries and tried again. Success. I suppose that's about as far as it goes unless this starts happening more frequently.

More photovoltaic fun
Topic: Stones Road house, general, technology, opinion Link here

Last week's photovoltaic system monitoring improvements have paid off: today I got a long report of Yet Another “calibrating battery” status. This time it ran only one cycle, a little over 4 hours from 15:12:22 to 19:28:41, suggesting that there was really something wrong last month. But once again it discharged the battery completely, and presumably there are also alarms from the battery. From 17:31:18 to 18:05:24 the state of charge was under 5%, and from 17:40:49 to 17:55:03 it was at 0%.

Time for some answers. Sent a message to Fred and asked for a statement from the makers of the battery and the inverter. Not one, but two replies by the evening, saying that he was also getting the two to talk to each other. I wonder what will happen.

Trump: not pro-semitic
Topic: politics, opinion Link here

One of the the many obnoxious things about Donald Trump is his racism. In particular his hatred of Muslims and other (non-US) Americans is clear. But in one country he's a hero: Israel. He has turned a blind eye to their territorial violations, recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, recognized the Golan Heights as part of Israel, not only turned a blind eye to the plight of the Palestinians, but also cut aid to them. No wonder the Israelis love him.

Ha ha, only joking. He discovered that most US Jews vote Democrat, so he blasted them.

What a man! Who can accuse him of being preferential? He hates everybody equally.

White bread rolls
Topic: food and drink Link here

We're out of hamburger buns (bread rolls). OK, no worries, bake some more. But we were out of one of the ingredients, “Manhattan Light Rye” bread mix, so I had to do it with only wheat flour. That required more water, 635 ml instead of 580 ml.

The result? OK, but not as good as the original recipe.

Friday, 23 August 2019 Dereel Images for 23 August 2019
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Another power failure
Topic: general Link here

Another advantage of my improved photovoltaic system monitoring is that I get timely information on power (grid) failures. Another one last night at 18:20:43 for 4 seconds.

Spring on its way
Topic: general, animals Link here

Gradually the long, wet winter is coming to an end. Seen today while walking the dogs:

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Yvonne thinks that that's particularly early for ducklings. The only previous mention in my diary (October 2014) suggests that she's right.

This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.

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