Older blog entries for Acapnotic (starting at number 18)

Perl is playing tricks on me. if ($foo) {BLOCK} and if (not $foo) {BLOCK} both result in evaluating BLOCK, but the values BLOCK prints out are different. <whimper>

And on that delusional note, here's a bit of geek folk rock rap, inspired by the chatter...

Everything's been going down-hill since slash-dot,
Things have been lookin' down since they made that link,
Everything's been going down-hill since slash-dot,
Too many folks just writing what they think.

It's a delicate issue, what can you say,
I've posted this here for your response today.
But when it comes down to it,
  I don't care what you think,
'Cuz you're all just lusers and your opinions all stink.
(I'm tooting my horn so you'll click my link.)

<chorus>

That's all very interesting, they say you might be right,
but as for me, I'm not going with-out a fight.
and I've got a special quality which your post lacks,
because for me, all my opinions are facts
.

...(and stuff)...

and I went to school for years,
  to practice this skill I got,
I can say what I think,
  without any thought!

Remember kids: Don't be like Acap, sleep before you post!

<Yawn> Reading the fallout from Poul's "Romeo" article got tiresome by the time the scrollbar hit 50%, but I feel inclinced to voice my two bits just the same.

It is my understanding that the ultimate effect of the trust metric is to prevent abuse of Advogato's discussion forum. Since Advogato's topic is open source software, it does make some sense to use someone's status in the software community as a rough gauge of their cluefullness, their potential to contribute to the site, and since this is usually a group effort, their people skills as well. But if someone, no matter how skilled technially, starts abusing the site, they've abused their trust here.

Ok, I'm bored with this topic now. Just remember "sometimes the clothes do not make the man," or something...
(Now where's my Advogato t-shirt?)

In actual software-related news... Martin Weber sent in a patch for Adaptive Contrast Enhancement the other day which he describes as a sort of "sunshine filter". I haven't decided yet if it belongs in or not, but it is in CVS for the time being, so run it in "color contrast" mode and let me know if you can get it to make pretty things or not.

I also spent some time debating with the alumni of the alpha Xi physics club (hmm... no link... that's an issue...) about the recent changes in goldfish crackers, our staple sustinance. Personally, I think the things are free to grin all they want to, just so long as they stay cheesy, but "flavor blasting" is overkill.

Well, I'm off to order my new Johnathon swimsuit calender and his Special Edition of the Matrix DVD...

Now here's a curious thing: We're all posting replies to an article that never appeared. Which is actually a very exciting thing to see on a community site, a conversation just materialize among the diaries on its own. But it's going to be awfully difficult to browse...

College
So here's my story of school. I went to a high school where I didn't get challenged much, didn't have much fun, only had a few good teachers, didn't do much work but walked all over the test scores. Without really thinking about it ("ok, did grade 12, where's 13?"), I enrolled myself in some little haughty-taughty midwestern college.

I blew through the first semester, the first year science classes at a liberal arts school being a bit light agaisnt my AP science background. But by the time the second semester rolled around it was clear that though the educational environment at college sucked significantly less than public high school, it wasn't perfect, and to a large extent I was still in my habit of not-doing schoolwork. My two best friends from first semester also had issues with the school and split right then. One, my poet friend with the badass tetris skills, went to an even smaller school in Vermont, and the other, a musican/sci-fi writer/MUSH addict, got her dad to drive her home and proceeded to drop off the face of the planet.

I decided to stick it out for a while longer. Second semester I made some new friends and failed a math class for the first time in my life. By the time summer rolled around, I was ready to ask a shrink why I was having such troubles getting along with school. After all, I do honestly enjoy learning, in those times when I actually manage to sit down and work on something. So why are those times so few and far between?

Summer ends and I go back to college for one more try, but I make sure I keep enough boxes in my dorm room so that I can move out if I need to. Things start to look a little wishy-washy, but the optimist says there may be hope yet. I come back from fall break with a story about what it's like to be in a collision on the New Jersey Turnpike, and that's about when I started sleeping through my 1:30 PM math class. (Some of my earlier Advogato diaries are from just before bedtime at 8 AM or so.) I spend the rest of the semester giving what support I can to my friends who are staying on, and file an application for a "personal leave of absence".

Several tough good-byes, a one-way trip out of Ohio, and a third of a year later brings us up to present day. Unemployed, directionless, unable to remember the last time I finished anything, and watching almost as much crappy TV as Kelly is.

Woah.
My name is in the Linux Weekly News, for a little hack I never polished and haven't even touched in years. Dennis Payne wrote this month's Open Game Source article on my implementation of the classic game Beasts. Weird.

Like when I logged on to OPN the other day and someone messaged me "Hi, I'm the guy you sent those patches to for my rot13 utility a few years ago. Nice to finally meet you."

What a strange little world we're in here.

  • I decided I needed to make some new wallpaper.

  • Question: Anyone have a pointer to a document detailing the appropriate (and inappropiate) usage of const in C?

  • Question: Anyone have a bit of emacs wizardry to syntax-highlight the glib data types? (If not the GTK+, GIMP, and GNOME ones too.)

  • Project Idea: Gnorf
    A GNOME port of Michael Gourlay's Xmorph. Shouldn't be terribly difficult, considering the image-munging stuff has been seperated out into a library... It's just another case of "good program, old toolkit". It's a shame to waste developer time on already functional programs, but then again, who among us can stand to see Athena widgets on our desktop? It's also screaming out "Oh, canvas, take me now!" loud enough for the neigbors to hear three streets away.

    Note that Xmorph currently has the ability to run standalone or as a GIMP plug-in. That would be essential to retain... And having it work as a GIMP plug-in but build on gnome-libs is part of the Evil Plan.

Yes, this is the peer pressure entry.

You see, by the looks of things, everyone else has posted an entry in the last twenty hours, and so if I don't follow suit, my loyalty as an Advogatian may come in to question. But I have yet to find the appropriate level of content for this log, as opposed to that which I write to my mistress, or to my mother (who are, in case you were wondering, not the same person).

I cannot simply recount the day's events-- were I to do so on a regular basis, I would be forced to admit not only to you, but to myself as well, exactly how unproductive my life is. I did not book a trip to a conference in a foreign country, nor did I write The Application Which Will Change The Way We Think About Computing. What I did do is the laundry.

Soon, I will have to go shopping for clothing again, or else I will have to start wearing freebie T-shirts in place of boxers. (Companies looking for their next expo-tchotchky, take this as a tip.)

The other item of note is that a group of ants have moved into our kitchen. They gather food from the dishwasher, and have a steady supply line leading back to behind the fridge. Where they go from there, I do not know.

So I've spent several hours over the last few days studying the ants. Ants are quite small, particularly this variety. I would assume a single ant's perceptual abilities and deductive talents are quite limited. The kitchen is vast in comparison. Yet they've established quite the efficient point-to-point packet-routing system. It's fault tolerant, too. Place a loop of duct tape in their path (an ant knows better than to set foot on the sticky side of duct tape), and it disrupts their flow. Some of them turn around and go back. Some of them scout out for new paths around it. Many wander off and become lost. But there are a lot of them, you see, and they just keep coming. Eventually they succeed in marking out a new route, and business proceeds as usual.

Them being ants, and this being Advogato, I am naturally reminded of the novel The Hacker and the Ants [NOTE: Advogato should accept the <cite> tag]... which, as I do a quick search, I find that John Walker (of SpeakFreely fame), has written an epilouge to . . .

Who was to know?

Decided today that the database for the Plug-Ins@SourceForge site was ready to have some other people test it, so I sent out an invitation for people to do so.

I put out a new version of the refract plug-in a few days ago, we'll see how it fares this time around. I also spent some more time beating my head against the preview in the antialias code, but I just don't have enough eyes to see where the problem lies.

I need to spend more time reading library books. Why do cathode rays have to be so addictive?

Lots of playing with the GIMP Plug-ins project on SourceForge. CVS keeps throwing sig11's at our web pages, though. =(

Off to the job fair now.

Well, the old Heathkit appears to have a gravity-sensitive bug... It doesn't output to the right speaker unless the unit is upside-down. Less of a worry now that my sound card seems to only output on one channel-- perhaps a result of plugging it into the Heathkit when it wasn't properly grounded. Is the audio-in line supposed to *spark* like that?

Well, the January-Term programming project has finally been selected. Remember Barren Realms Elite? Yeah, well, I'm a bit skeptical about how much of it we'll actually be able to get done in under twenty days, but Scott says that it's not a real project if you think you'll have enough time to finish it.

I think he's nuts, but I've decided it'll be fun to try. I started looking for appropriate networking libraries this afternoon. Does anyone have experiences they'd like to share about libace or libape?

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