Installing Debian Jessie on a PowerBook G4

It all went according to plan apart from once the installation had finished and I restarted the screen went all weird and psychedelic. This is the solution to that problem.

Start up the PowerBook from your installation CD by holding down C after the chime.

At the boot: prompt type rescue.

You now need to go through the same screens about where you are, what language you’re speaking etc. that you went through for the installation. Don’t worry, it’s not going to reinstall.

Choose the partition where the root Debian system is installed.

Open up /etc/yaboot.conf in Nano by typing:

sudo nano /etc/yaboot.conf

Find the part that talks about the image that you’re booting from.

If there’s a line that starts with the word append then you need to add this command to the rest of the commands inside quotes.


If not then create the line. It should end up looking something like this:


Save (ctrl+o) and exit (ctrl+x). Then type the following command to copy the config file across to the boot partition:

sudo ybin -v

Finally, type exit and they system will reboot and everything will probably by OK.

The politics of envy

Singer James BluntThere are some industries that it’s very hard to get a job in. Film-making, advertising, the music business, all the glamorous stuff. It’s pretty obvious that rich people find it much easier to get a start in these jobs because their parents will subsidise them while they do internships or hang around in Fulham waiting for their big break. However, when the new shadow culture minister said that there should be more opportunities for poor people he was immediately attacked by public schoolboy James Blunt for being a classist gimp.

Anyone who has complained publicly about the misbehaviour or greed of rich people will sooner or later find himself accused of indulging in The Politics of Envy. It’s a painful accusation to bear, implying moral hypocrisy and a kind of joyless puritanism – You would do just the same if you could, you just won’t admit it. Like any effective lie must do, it also contains a tiny grain of truth, after all who wouldn’t want to be richer?

Psychologists like Timothy Judge and Paul Piff, who have published studies into the way that being rich affects people’s behaviour, have shown correlations between wealth and disagreeable attitudes: Insensitivity, ruthlessness, even selfish driving. These characteristics are likely to make rich people behave anti-socially.

When people express moral outrage at the behaviour of the rich and powerful it is the same outrage that they would express at any other anti-social behaviour. Dropping litter, mugging grannies, drink driving, tax evasion. We don’t get annoyed about these things because we wish we could do them, it’s because we think other people shouldn’t do them. In fact, we feel that when someone acts anti-socially they are actually doing harm to us, personally.

It would be better if James Blunt acknowledged his good fortune and did something to support people who haven’t been as lucky as him. It’s no surprise that he holds up the US as a marvellous example of how he’d like to be treated. It is indeed a lovely country to be rich in, and a terrible place to be poor.

5 Reasons I support the Yes campaign

  1. New Union Jack with Wales addedThe 18th September is my brother’s birthday. It will be ruined forever for him if it’s Scottish Independence Day.
  2. I have £10 on a Yes win at 4:1.
  3. It will finish the SNP. I loath all nationalists and there will be no need for a single-issue party like the SNP once Scotland is independent.
  4. An independent Scotland would be a perfect testing ground for innovative social policies. If they work we can import them, if they don’t it won’t matter.
  5. I’ve already designed the new flag. I did it right back in 2012 before anyone else had even considered the problem.

What UKIP stand for

If you have a look at the source code for the ugly UKIP Croydon website you’ll see this collection of keywords that they’ve added. These are the words that they hope will lead people to them in Google searches:

Roads Traffic Parking Enforcement Control CPZ Controlled Zone Freedom Rights Drivers Cars Motorists Streets Byway Footway Pavement Motoring Congestion Motorways Signs Capacity Building Signals Highway Regulation Law Legal Safety Calming Speed Limits Lorries HGV Vans Trucks Buses Coaches Passengers Pedestrians Trams Cyclists Cycling Bicycles Mopeds Motor Bikes Adults Children Stop Go Slow Fast Automobile 4×4 Management Cameras Humps Chicanes Throttle People Elderly Disabled Wheelchairs Vehicles Pollution Air Quality Accelerate Brake Gear Queues Bottleneck Roundabout Mini-roundabout Economy Magistrate Court Disqualification Points Transport Lane Edge Kerb Build-out Cushion Dual Accident Casualty Collision Insurance Increase Reduce Improve Offence Contravention Defence Prosecute FPN PCN CCTV Appeal Fixed Penalty Notice Charge Forum Survey Advice Code Design Appearance Legibility Comprehensibility Consultation Referendum Campaign Petition Environment Police Taxi Minicab Animals Riders Vans Emergency Services Rescue Recovery Pass Loading Bay Publicity Education Footbridge Subway Bridge Flyover Underpass Segregation Statistics

It’s a bit like a stream of conciousness from the mind of a cliché taxi driver, with the swearing and racist language filtered out. It’s also quite poetic if you read it out loud.

I did look at the other party sites for comparisons, but they are too wily to expose their inner thinking so nakedly.

How does Brixton feel about the police now?

Jarratt-BryanA couple of days ago Channel 4 News decided to send someone down to Brixton to do a report on how people here feel about the police. The guy they chose, Jordan Jarrett-Bryan, is not normally used to doing news journalism, everything else he’s done for them has been sports reporting.

In the report Jarratt-Bryan spoke to 5 people. One of them was the controversial race relations activist Lee Jasper, who predictably said that nobody in Brixton trusts the police. The only other expert voice was Naomi Brown, Youth Development Manager for a PR firm called Livity. She too said that none of the people she works with trust the police.


The other three people in the report, random passersby, locals, also agreed that people in Brixton don’t trust the police. Straightforward, just what the programme’s editor probably asked for.

However, when urbanspaceman, a long-standing member of the Urban75 forum watched the report he noticed something odd.

I’ve lived in central Brixton for 30 years, and so I watched Jordan Jarrett-Bryan’s report last night with interest. But as he developed his case, I became puzzled by the seeming uniformity of his vox pop respondents’ views. Because, the thing is, it’s pretty much impossible to find anyone in Brixton who shares an opinion with anyone else.

BrownSo he did some investigation and soon discovered that Jarrett-Bryan used to work for Livity, the PR firm that employs Naomi Brown. Not only that, according to LinkedIn, all three of the random passersby are in fact employed by Livity. Matthew Peltier is a Senior Producer there, Henry Houdini is a Junior Assistant Producer and Beulah Lambert is an Account Manager.

Of course, it’s quite possible that the LinkedIn profiles are fake. Also possibly fake is Matthew Peltier’s twitter account @PeltierEffect where he is described as a Senior Producer at Livity and retweets @henry_houdini talking about attending an event with Livity as well as retweeting @_JordanJBryan.

If it is true that all these people were actually friends or colleagues of the reporter then I expect that there’s a massive investigation going on over at ITN News. But it’s disappointing that none of Jordan Jarrett-Bryan’s more experienced colleagues noticed that there was something awry with his report, they must surely know that he used to work for Livity and that he’s new to journalism. What’s ironic is that the only non-Livity person in the film, Lee Jasper, left his job working for City Hall because of a scandal about cronyism.

You can still watch the film on the Channel 4 site. (Update: The film has now been taken down and The Independent has picked up the story.)

Also, I first read about this story on BrixtonBuzz.

Homophobia hurts everyone

_72345252_putin_afpIt’s hard to say exactly how many people in the population are gay, but it’s probable that at least 5% of men are mainly attracted to other men and at least twice that number have at some point found another man sexually attractive. So what happens in countries like Russia, or in cultures like that of poor Afro-Caribbeans, where there is a very specific expectation of how men should act and coming out as gay simply isn’t acceptable?

In these situations you must have a whole load of men who are gay but pretending not to be. A few of them will find a way to avoid the problem by becoming celibate or seeking out all-male environments like the army or prison, but most will get into relationships with women who they find at best unattractive and at worst disgusting. They will naturally be dissatisfied by this life, full of anger and further enraged by anything which reminds them of the life they secretly desire. It’s easy to see how they might be emotionally withdrawn or violent with their partners and confusing and disorienting as parents. In places where there is more homophobia there are more women who are worried that their husbands are secretly gay and of course there is really nothing that they can do about that predicament.

The societies that are produced by these kinds of ‘family values’ are similarly violent and emotionally repressed, they have high levels of drug or alcohol abuse, broken families and ideas about masculinity that in themselves prevent social change by limiting opportunities for people to break out of poverty. Homophobia is much more than merely a choice about lifestyles, it’s a conservative social disease that perpetuates itself through destructive behaviour and miserable family life.

Some M’s

m23M23 – A rebel group that operates in the eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was formed by loyalists to the Tutsi warlord Gen. Laurent Nkunda and takes its name from the date of an agreement signed on 23 March 2009 between Rwanda and DRC to cooperate on the eradication of a Hutu rebel group called the FDLR. It is widely believed that M23 are directly controlled by the Rwandan government.

m25M25 – A motorway that encircles Greater London. It has various cultural meanings for people in the UK, defining for many the boundary between city and countryside. It also played a huge role in 80’s rave culture as people whizzed around it on their way to parties in rural barns and warehouses. Iain Sinclair wrote a geeky book about it which was made into a movie by Channel 4.

m83M83 – A nice and melodic electronic band from France. They used to be pleasantly obscure but they recently composed the soundtrack for a movie called Oblivion that’s being advertised on a lot of buses at the moment so they may become famous and lose some of their exclusive charm. They are named after a spiral galaxy called Messier 83.

Class War #23

A picture of an angry man with a shaved headSo I’m cycling up Brook Street in Mayfair. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s one of the two most expensive squares on a Monopoly board, the home of Claridges, Hermès and Halcyon Days, official supplier of objets d’art to the Royal Family.

A delivery man carrying a pile of boxes for Halcyon Days saw me riding towards him, decided that he didn’t care and walked straight into my path.

I swerved around him and called him a moron. He said, “Fuck off you white, middle class wanker.” He was white himself, stereotypically shaven-headed, but apparently the “middle class” insult wasn’t enough on its own. I rode back to him, annoyed.

“You thought I was going to get out of your way, didn’t you! Clear off and read your Guardian.” He yelled with the bitter, assumed contempt of a committed running-dog.

“You think you’re pretty hard don’t you?” I said, looking him in the eye.

“Piss off before I come and take your satchel off you,” he sneered, and walked straight into a lamp–post.

Apple Store Hacked?

Well here’s a strange thing. I have this Capital One credit card that I never use. I have it sitting in a draw in case another card gets cancelled or something. It has not been used abroad or online since February. But this month I did use it, to buy a Macbook from the Apple Store. It looks like someone immediately sold the details from the card. Two transaction at two different Target supermarkets, 31 miles apart, appeared on the same day. Maybe the details were obtained by someone hacking a different server, I was using the card regularly last year. Or else there’s something bad happening at the Apple Store. Something very bad.

Bye, bye Scotland

A couple of points with regard to the referendum the Scottish Nationalists want to hold, to decide whether or not they want to stay in this relationship with us. Firstly, shouldn’t we also have a referendum in the rest of the UK to decide whether we want to keep them? Nobody likes to be taken for granted. Even if they do decide to stay, we might want them to go!

Secondly, if they do go we’ll need to clear out all their stuff, including untagging all their photos in Facebook and removing the cross of St Andrew from our flag. So while we’re doing a redesign, why not take the opportunity to include something from the loyal and unappreciated Welsh? Here’s my proposal for the new Union Flag. I know it doesn’t look right yet, but maybe that’s just because it’s new?

New Union Jack with Wales added