Language peculiarities

I’ve been asked many times what’s the difference between a crow and a raven, and my answer was that crow is the species in general and raven is a male specimen, something like sheep and ram. However, I never felt perfectly satisfied with this answer, until one day I found out that the Icelandic word for raven is “hrafna”, and then it clicked – they come from two completely different languages, raven is the Norse “hrafna”, and crow is the Latin “corvus”.

I apologize in advance if you learned about this in kindergarten or elementary school, but it’s actually new to me. 🙂 The same goes with the names of the days of the week, where some are obvious, but I didn’t really get the etymology of others until recently:

Sunday – Sun
Monday – Moon
Tuesday – Tíw (old English for Norse Týr), the one-armed god of war
Wednesday – Wōden/Wotan (old English for Odin)
Thursday – Thor
Friday – Freya
Saturday – Saturni dies, Latin


I just had an abortive OS upgrade on the web/mail server. This produced an outage that lasted longer than predicted because someone changed something in the new Ubuntu Focal (or, should I say, Fecal) LTS, where postfix and dovecot can’t authenticate a connection to mysql database, which is interesting because PHP applications authenticate just fine, and it’s not an account/privileges problem because that’s the first thing I tried and it did nothing. Fortunately, I created a snapshot of the working system on AWS, and after two attempts of re-installation, I threw the towel and restored everything to Bionic, which is why everything works now. I think Linux and IT community in general have a problem with SJW infestation, and they are more preoccupied with trigger warnings, preferred pronouns and similar bullshit nobody cares for, instead of actually making shit work, or, to be more precise, keeping things functional and not fucking them up in newer revisions. Nobody gives a shit whether you think you’re saving the world by consuming copious amounts of soy and avocado products and driving electric; just don’t break postfix/dovecot connection to mysql, and it will be fine.

In addition, the condo I’m renting was damaged by the Zagreb earthquake in March and the damage keeps manifesting in various ways, from plaster occasionally falling from the ceiling, to, more worryingly, hydro-insulation on the roof being cracked, which resulted in two separate points of water dripping through the ceiling after strong rains, and it’s now rain season. I initially reported the damage to the landlord more than a month ago, still no repairs. I’m both fixing stuff that keeps falling apart around me (for instance, yesterday I changed the faucet in the kitchen which fell apart, and the washing machine is so loud it’s actually worse than a jet plane on takeoff, which hints at bearing failure in the near future), and trying to have backup plans, but this is really not something I want to be dealing with now, when the economy is about to shit itself and everybody seems to be preparing for some kind of a genocidal world war.

I almost forgot, the water here turned out to be diluted sewage – a neighbor did a bacteriological test and you don’t want to know, so I had to subscribe to a service that delivers 19l water tanks on demand so we at least have a source of good drinkable water. Oh goody.

Server outage

The legacy/archive server,, is down due to a technical problem on the hosting provider’s side. They told me that one of the drives in the RAID array failed and the array itself is being rebuilt which will take a few hours.