Finally got round to updating irssi-text packaging and fixing a few
bugs that would be nice to get into sarge if I can. You can find a
copy on my
. Currently in need of a sponsor, hint hint.

 irssi-text (0.8.9-2) unstable; urgency=medium
   * Upload medium as it would be useful to get the irssi-common and perl fixes
     into sarge.
   * Conflict with irssi-common (Closes: #263320)
   * Update to Standards-Version 3.6.1
   * Update to building against libglib2.0
   * Fix the menu file quoting
   * Depend on autotools-dev and update config.{status,guess} automatically
     (Closes: #296989)
   * Recompile against libperl5.8 (5.8.4) (Closes: #248020, #224930, #247104)

Update: Steve
has sponsored an upload of i386, powerpc and alpha for

I gave up reading the hot-babe thread shortly after it descended into
discussing the crusades. To me, the whole discussion has failed to
mention the more interesting question of whether the package is
useful and if we want Debian to be full of silly pointless packages.
I know traditionally if someone was willing to maintain a package and
it was DFSG-free then it accepted into the archive. But now sarge
doesn’t even fit on a DVD anymore we have to start asking ourselves
“Just how many media players/irc clients/load meters/menstrual
calendars do we need in Debian?” Maybe it is time someone went
through the archive, looking at the orphaned, unmaintained and
trivial packages and ask “Do we really need this package?”

I installed a new machine this week. A nice little Shuttle box which
should be fairly quiet, except the heatsink on my graphics card need
replacing. I did the usual method of installing XP and then installed
Debian using a sid D-I business card CD. I must say D-I on i386 is
fantastic. I set it all up using a 2.6 kernel and configured LVM, which
while long winded, worked perfectly. Rebooted into Debian and had a
working machine. The installer detected my XP installation and
configured Grub accordingly. So far so good.

Then I rebooted into XP.

GRUB showed the commands it had executed but then it just hung. The
XP startup screen didn’t appear. Nothing. I could reboot into Debian
fine and could mount my NTFS partition and see all my data. Reboot. same
problem. Loaded the XP rescue tools from the CD and fixed the mbr. As
I’d over written grub, the machine just hung at boot.

I put this down to XP having issues with LVM and reinstalled both XP
and Debian on the machine, this time without LVM and putting grub on
/dev/hda2 rather than /dev/hda. It did the same thing. Argh.

After a bit of research, I discovered that problem was down to disk
geometry. A forum led me to a support
from SuSE about the exact same problem. Fortunately, setting
my bios to LBA rather than Auto fixed it. Further searching produced a
few more articles and reports of Mandrake suffering for the same
problem. It turns out that the problem only occurs iff you install using
a 2.6 kernel and your XP partition is not completely in the first 8.6GB
of the drive. In 2.6, the kernel developers decided that discovering the
correct disk geometry was a userspace task. When the drive is
partitioned the kernel reports the untranslated geometry, so an
incorrect partition table is written. When XP boots it uses BIOS calls
to find the geometry, which reports a translated geometry, which no
longer matches what is in the partition table, so it hangs. Changing the
BIOS is a workaround, but fixing the partition table is the correct

I’ll file a bug as soon as I work out where the correct place to file
it is. I’m currently thinking partman. Below is some further reading on
the problem.

Last night I successfully managed to install Debian on my AlphaStation
255, after 5 attempts. d-i in sid is almost there. Had a couple of
niggles. It seems that something broke the code to detect if the drive
was using BSD disklabels. vorlon gave me points of where to look to fix
it and 30 minutes later I had a fix. Hacking d-i in d-i is cool. Having
stuff written in bash is very useful. Shame it doesn’t have a full vim
installation :). I need to check if the bug with the partitioner not
detecting that you have /boot on a separate partition is still there.

The only other issue I had was that you need to leave a small space at
the start of the drive for the bootloader. vorlon neglected to tell me
this until I tripped over it (grrr 🙂 ) but a quick repartition and a
(not so) quick base install later and it was up and running.

I celebrated with a beer and some chocolate.