Not So Fast, Slick

Why Did it Take Devuan Two Years to Replace Systemd?

Recently, a guy asked me two questions:

  1. If it is so easy to uninstall and switch init systems why did it take devuan 2 years to figure it out?
  2. Why are so many struggling to make something so easy work?

Here’s my answer:

Imagine having a bicycle with hand brakes. You know, the kind of brakes with brake pads that rub against the wheel rims. You can get black brake pads, salmon color brake pads, short brake pads, long brake pads, smooth stud brake pads, threaded stud brake pads, whatever. The point is, to change to a different color or length or pad composition is trivial: Take the old ones off, put the new ones back on.

But your bike has the new Lennart Poettering “systemd” brake design, with its new metalic brake pads, which stop the bike nicely, but wear out the wheel rims in 300 miles.

… read the rest on the author’s site

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Road bicycle fit, seat adjustment(s)

Aug 22nd 2020

Have the bike next to a wall or guardrail to hold on, or have someone hold you straight up, or have the bike on a trainer, but pretty flat.  Seat centered on the seat, not tipping left or right.  Place your heel right at the center of the pedal (with shoes similar to the ones you ride with).  Extend the pedal as far away from your hip as possible, which should be a bit forward of the bottom position.  Your leg should be fully stretched still touching the heel firmly.  If it is not and it is still angled at the knee, the seat is too low.  If you are losing contact of your heel when it rocks the bottom, then the seat is too high.  You should be seating at the center of the seat, not forward or too far back.

This is a “rough estimate” of the correct height so you can begin looking for the right fine adjustment. Look also for the angle as you ride, if you feel you are sliding back or something is hurting towards the front, angle the tip down. If you are sliding forward, while you ride, take the tip up a click. Angle affects height as well, but to a small degree. Continue reading

Weight/Size of rider and tire width

Aug 2020 (the age of Corona madness).


For a long while road riders, racers and wannabes, would swear that 23mm was the fastest tire.  Velodrome whinnies would go to extremes as low as 19mm sized tires, but this is on perfect wooden floorboards that you can see your face on clearly.

Cycling pros, for a long time, have been small people, most skinny and small.  Very few famous cyclists were tall and fewer were muscular, none was overweight.  Many even struggled to keep weight up as they would loose too much through training and even more through long tours (races that lasted most of the day for several days).

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Gearing, transmission, gears and bearings

If one looks at race bikes from the 80s and earlier one sees that the basic setup for the crank didn’t change much for decades.  Suddenly there was a burst of new gadgets and setups which has still not settled yet.  Usually in applied technology with a focus on racing there is an explosion of new ideas tried and tested and then there is a period of convergence, and convergence due to economic forces in mass production brings standardization. Continue reading

Brakes, systems, technique of braking – life savers

First things first – how to brake:  The rear brake is almost a decorative item, it provides less than 10% of braking power.  Braking power is needed at its maximum when you are about to hit a hard obstacle that abruptly appeared in front of you when you least expect it.  The fear of flipping the bike over and going over the bars should be defeated as a preferential outcome of hitting a truck chassis or trailer (hard steel surfaces, instead of a flexible door, hood, trunk panel, or even windshield).

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Bicycle frames, geometry, functionality, evolution and choice

March 18th 2020

After the abandonment of the Penny Farthing bicycle and the introduction of the “geared” bike, the basic shape of the frame has been relatively unchanged.  Basically the are two triangles, the smaller one holding the rear wheel, the larger one connecting the steering tube, the crank, the seat and retaining the smaller rear triangle in line and place.  What has really changed is the performance capability of the bicycle, or in more scientific terms, its efficiency.  Humans are the most inefficient animal on earth in terms of body mass, speed and endurance of movement.  You add the bicycle as a tool to a human body and this turns it from most inefficient to the most efficient animal on earth.  How does the bicycle do this?  By concentrating and transferring all muscle power to forward motion without losses, while being comfortable enough that you can do this for hours at a time, or really fast (100km/h 60mi/h) for a shorter time.

Major improvements

  1. decreasing weight.
  2. decreasing flexibility
  3. decreasing rolling and drivetrain resistance

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Introduction to cycling for non-cyclists yet – as I see it

2020 March 08th

(the publication date is an attempt to separate bicycling stories and technical articles from the core content of Linux, so the bicycling articles predate the existence of wordpress, the browser, or windowed computing environments).

Cycling for all ages:  Kids can use them to go to school and play, retired people can use it to stay fit and commute.  It really takes a short time to learn how to ride if you have never tried, but to learn how to ride properly and defensively it takes years.  So it is not all about a balancing act on two skinny wheels, it is about being alert, know how to react, have practiced panic braking and swerving, and how to avoid obstacles (like jumping up on a curb in a fraction of a second at an angle less than 90′). Continue reading

List of cycling related articles

2020 August 22nd

List of all bicycling articles:

2020 March 08

Note:  I will not advance or really tolerate much of this consumerist culture here of buying the best and most expensive off the shelf and brag about it.  Buy what you have to, just don”t push it like crack-cocaine.  For those with a limited budget, who want to maintain a proper bike, no matter what kind or how old, I will contribute the most.  This will not be a marketplace or a place to advance marketing interests.  This is a place to exchange experience and honesty between cyclists who truly love cycling, not the act of demonstrating accessories and wealth.

I apologize to the blog’s followers for having material here that may not interest them at all.  I tried to do this without having notices sent to followers of new articles, by using pages.  But pages on wordpress do not allow comments and there seems no way about it.  The only thing I could do was backdate the bicycling related articles so they don’t foul up the main page and add a single category and tag named bicycles.

Hopefully there is an intersection between minimalistic operating systems and transportation modes.  But hope dies last.