zen.org Communal Weblog

September 19, 2008

The Irish Passport conspiracy

Filed under: — brendan @ 12:30 GMT

My Irish passport expires in a few months. I figure we’ve no plans to go anywhere for the remainder of the year, probably, so why not look into getting it renewed? I visited the Official Site to get the scoop.

If you pay An Post for Passport Express, you’ll get it in 10 days.

If you don’t, and want to be frugal since there’s no rush, you can do it via regular post—accepting it will take “at least 4-6 weeks” to get it back. Which instills the fear in the reader that something may come up in the next two months which would make you need it, and you’d of course be screwed without it. So I’d guess most people go via An Post.

I wonder: what’s the functional difference between the Passport Express delivery box and the Stupid Shit Regular Post box? I expect they sit side-by-side in the same building, and the Regular Post box also serves as a great place to rest bags full of those completed-and-barely-shredded Passport Express applications awaiting recycling.

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Using Ubuntu? Install dnsmasq and go faaaaaaaaaaaaast.

Filed under: — brendan @ 11:13 GMT

Want to make your browsing go really quickly? Unless your host is running bind/named itself, you can make it stop asking another computer (possibly over in your ISP) every time you try to visit a site or download your mail. Sometimes there’s a pregnant pause at it’s looking it up—again.

The dnsmasq program is really fantastic and keeps a local cache of the addresses you’re asking about. Your computer has its own local place to scribble down things you’ll probably ask for again soon.

Instructions for setting it up are also available on an Ubuntu blog, with the quickest steps in its first comment.

P.S. It’s not just Ubuntu, actually—you could put it on all sorts of systems, including Macs running OS X.

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