I somehow avoided getting infected with COVID for all these past four years, but this week unexpectedly it hit me after all – and that while being inoculated multiple times. Oh well, they say that the inoculations keep the more severe symptoms at bay.
Still, this feels like a very bad flu, I have been in bed for two days, feeling delirious in the beginning but just nauseous and dizzy now, accompanied by the father of all headaches.
I have no energy left in me, meaning package updates may be delayed. Pay supplied me with the sources for the to-be updated glibc package in Slackware, so that the computer can do all the compiling when I return to bed. That will be about all.
Stay healthy! Eric
A blog is something personal, and theming it just right is a challenge. You’ll surely have noticed that the theme of Alien Pastures has been changed overnight.
This blog started out with a theme by Andreas Viklund (wp-andreas01) but that did not scale well on mobile devices, also it did weird stuff with user comments. I liked its visual quality a lot but the usability challenges were not fixable even by rummaging around in its code.
Eventually I replaced that with a new theme by Rajeeb Banstola (techism) but during my recent WordPress blog-code update I realized that this techism theme had not been updated for years, the author’s website has disappeared and the Freemius SDK from which that theme is created has a XSS vulnerability. Real shame because I thought it was beautiful, light, responsive and it fixed the user comment issues I mentioned previously.
So I have used my December holiday to look for another theme, experimenting with several, but I wanted to end with one that at a minimum allows me to have two columns: one for the articles and one as a sidebar with widgets showing all kinds of permanent info. Three columns was what I had with wp-andreas01 and techism, but I could live without one of the two sidebars.
I finally found a theme collection created by Anders Norén. On his page teman he showcases several that I find appealing, but after some experimenting I chose his Lovecraft and Hemingway themes over Baskerville. I kept the visual style of the new theme as close as possible to the old one (header image, top menu, sidebar widgets etc).
A note about the header image – that one has changed a few times over the years. I always use a picture I have taken myself and I rotate them on occasion.
At the bottom I was able to add three widgets that otherwise would have gone into a left sidebar. I think it’s cleaner now. Plus, one of these bottom widgets shows posts that have been most popular during recent weeks. That’s always interesting information to you (visitors), previously I would be the only one with that overview – it shows in the blog’s admin dashboard.
I am still undecided whether Hemingway or Lovecraft will make it as my final choice. Hemingway theme shows the number of comments to each article and it’s visually somewhat more condensed. Lovecraft on the other hand is aesthetically more pleasing to my eye.
I hope you like and appreciate the change and the new interface does not pose any difficulty writing and posting your comments. Feel free to comment below of course!
By the way, today I opened a new position in one of my IT teams in Veldhoven, The Netherlands (ASML’s HQ):
I am looking for a Senior MATLAB Support Engineer to help support the roughly 8000 MATLAB and SimuLink users in our Research, Development & Engineering departments.
I am on the look-out for good people again. This time in the US.
Remember – I left IBM (involuntarily) and started working at ASML at the end of 2016, first in a technical IT role but nowadays as an IT Group Leader focusing on providing services and solutions in Virtual Product Development (VPD) and Engineering Simulation (simulation driven design) toward our internal customers (mechanical, fluid dynamics, optical and multi-physics engineering, and research).
Need I remind you? ASML is all over the news these days, labeled the “linchpin of the electronics industry“. It is an exciting company to work for, and the amount of work we do is rapidly expanding as a result of two years of COVID19 pandemic and the resulting increase in demand for consumer electronics and computer chips. As a company we are at the forefront of lithography innovation with our EUV machines (Extreme Ultra Violet laser powered).
See this one-minute intro video for instance:
The complexity of our machines keeps increasing, and with it the demand for smart IT solutions that enable our engineers and researchers to perform more and bigger model simulations in less time. But also we need to address the needs of our customer support and operations divisions to use Machine Learning in order to become more predictive about our machines’ performance in the field.
I manage a couple of Agile IT teams that form an Agile Release Train and work together with our Engineering colleagues to improve their Simulation Workspace (VDI client, HPC cluster, masses of storage all placed in the Data Center and connected with high-bandwidth network).
I posted about open positions in my Veldhoven (Netherlands) teams last year (btw there are still open positions in my Dutch teams), and I am now bringing my latest vacancies to your attention. These are openings in the US, not in the Netherlands, but you would be closely collaborating with your Agile team members both in the US and in the Netherlands!
I’ll come to the point: for our IT Agile Release Train I have two job openings in the US: one for our SIMS team, one for our HPDA team.
- The SIMS (Simulation Services) team vacancy is for an “IT Support Engineer – Engineering Simulation“. See the online profile for all the job details. The location is Wilton, CT and you would be required to come to the ASML office so you will have to live in the region.
- The HPDA (High Performance & Data Analytics) team has a vacancy for a “High Performance Computing (HPC) System Administrator” where you have a choice of office: either San Diego (CA) or Wilton (CT). We operate a High Performance Compute cluster in both these areas. Check out the job profile to get more details. This job also requires you to come to the office.
Feel free to ask below in the comments section about further background info.
Hope this is of interest to someone!
Thanks to an anonymous sponsor, I am now operating a physical server in a US data center with a 1 Gbps connection to the Internet.
This server addresses a complaint of many people who are trying to download ISOs of the Slackware Live Edition. My slackware.nl aka download.liveslak.org server is hosted in a Dutch datacenter in Amsterdam, and it looks like people outside Europe, in particular downloaders in Southern Pacific region, are experiencing terribly slow speeds when fetching content from that server.
My new US server is available at two main URLs:
- http://us.liveslak.org is the go-to location for all content related to Slackware Live Edition.
- http://taper.alienbase.nl (don’t be confused by the “.nl” domain… I do not own a “.us” domain unfortunately) is the resurrection of my old “taper” VM which did not survive the original release of liveslak… that taper buckled under the high demand caused by massive download traffic and I decommisioned it in favor of my French datacenter server “bear” which again was replaced with “martin” in Amsterdam.
The new taper has mirrors for liveslak (exact same content as us.liveslak.org) and also all Slackware release trees and ISOs, the ‘cumulative’ package repository, Mate SlackBuild (msb) and Cinnamon SlackBuild (csb), as well as my own package and multilib repositories.
In addition to the http access, these servers are also accessible via rsync:
I hope this will give you folks out there a good alternative mirror location. Let me know how you experience the download speeds.