Older blog entries for Dodger (starting at number 8)

12:38pm CDT

nymia: vim+ctags works very well for me. I really haven't found the need for a drawing of the class hierarchy yet.

12:18pm CDT

From my computer-less situation at DefCon experience, I've been working on getting a Unix working on my IBM WorkPad z50. There are really only two choices that I know of right now, linux-vr and NetBSD. I've been following the mailing lists for quite some time now, and I know that, at the moment, linux-vr is out of the question. CyaCE, the bootloader for the linux-vr project doesn't support the memory hole that exists between the default 16MB and the 32MB upgrade module I put in the z50. Karl T. on the mailing list has mentioned a rewrite of CyaCE, I can only hope he includes the support I need. So that leaves me with NetBSD. After countless hours of trying to figure out ways to get it installed, I finally did it. I run Linux, so I had to find a file system that was compatible between Linux and NetBSD. The only one I could find was FAT16(ick) so I ended up having to copy the NetBSD packages to my MicroDrive on a FAT partition. Then create a NetBSD filesystem on my CompactFlash card and copy the files over to it and rename them(I could have simply put them on the CF card on a FAT partition to begin with[I tried] but, unfortunately, NetBSD doesn't recognize that the packages are there, if they are not in lowercase[grr, FAT is only uppercase]). Then I started sysinst and partitioned up the MicroDrive and installed. After that, everything was working perfectly. There are still some glitches I have yet to figure out though.

Firstly, the w command segfaults on me, and I have no idea why. The passwd command isn't working either. When I boot off of the GENERIC kernel, it just hangs. After compiling my own kernel, it says it can't find a kerberos server. Having no experience with NetBSD, I don't have a clue how to fix this. Setting kerberos=YES in rc.conf doesn't seem to actually start anything. I have found that /usr/libexec/kdc seems to be what I want running, but there's no kdc.conf, so I'll have to read the man page on that. Finally, my pcmcia ethernet card doesn't work. If you think it's tough to find out if Linux has support for a device, try any *BSD some time, it's even worse. I recompiled the kernel, with, what I think is the correct support for the card, but I forgot the card at home so I won't find out until tonight. I also had to modify the source code for this driver(if_xi.c) because it wouldn't compile(NetBSD-current).

Because of all this, I haven't been working on my XML/Glade stuff lately, though I think this weekend I'll have time to further it. However, I got "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants" and it's tempting to play with the L-systems they describe. I never though I'd be using it again, but the book(in the beginning) describes things in a LOGO like language, so I'll have to brush up on that. It's been at least 12 years since I played with LOGO on the Apple IIe.

12:19pm CDT

My plane arrived in Omaha last night from Las Vegas, and I got home right around 11:00pm. DefCon was very interesting. It was my first year attending and all around, I thought it was a good convention. I should have tried harder in getting my laptop going with something useable, because by the second day, I was pining for a computer to do something. A lot of good security talks, but the rooms where they were being held were very full and very hot. On the second day, they got the video feed working in one of the rooms, so we could watch from the comfort of our hotel room, which was nice. Unfortunately, I missed the Freenet talk that I wanted to see, so I guess I'll have to wait for the video to come up on the website. I'm definately going next year, but I'll be bringing a laptop and a wireless ethernet card. I'm hoping I can find one of those DefCon satchels that they were selling. It'd make a perfect laptop bag, but they sold out of them the first day before I registered, so I never got a chance to buy one.

9:01pm CDT

Well, not much on the XML/GTK widget front today. I need to come up with a name for this modification. Mostly busy at work, so I couldn't really get into the swing of coding. Have to go to bed early tonight, so I can get up and catch my plane flight at 8:30am tomorrow morning. Las Vegas here I come. DefCon is going to have a speaker on Freenet, so I think I'll be attending that, in light of the new article about it. I probably won't be able to post about it, so I'll leave a note in my diary. Speaking of diary, I won't really have any access to the net while I'm in Vegas(I don't have my laptop set up with linux-vr or NetBSD, it's an IBM z50), though I'll probably be checking my email from Oliver's laptop. No new diary until August 1st. Wish Advogato could track which diary entries you haven't read yet, so I could catch up when I get back, oh well.

3:45pm CDT

Woo, saw the first, mythical widget call today! I just instantiated a GtkButton with only an XML description of the function. I kludged a bit of it, but I can straighten that out when I get to work on the rest of the generalizations that I need to do. I probably wouldn't have been able to do it without help from Jeff Epler, many kudos to him.

9:06am CDT

Ugh, forgot to commit my changes to my CVS server. Guess I'll be working on something else until the firewall goes down at noon.

10:04pm CDT

Well, took the code I was working on for Glade and refactored using GTK code. There's no use rewriting my own stuff when this will eventually be going into my copy of Glade(whether it gets accepted is another story). Now I just need to get the object instantiation up and going, then I can do a lot of the busy work that will have to get done before integration. No mythical widget call, but I can almost feel it ;)

11:32am CDT

Wow, it's been busy lately. Lots of work related stuff to take care of. Had a good weekend. It was my girlfriend's birthday Saturday, so we went out Friday(Patriot is a damn good flick, even if you don't worry about the historical incongruities) and then went out again with her parents on Sunday. The more I work with XML, the more ideas I come up with places it could be used. I think it's really going to be a huge part of computing in the future. Things are coming along nicely with the XML widget definition for Glade. However, I'll probably have to spend some time refactoring it, because Jeff kindly reminded me that there was already a linked list type defined in glib(I forgot :). Maybe I'll see my first widget call today.

Three more days until I fly to Las Vegas for DefCon. It'll be my first time going to Vegas, so I think I'll have fun.

July 19th, 2000 - 10:22pm CDT

Well, I guess I didn't get as far along today as I wanted to. Mostly a combination of Wednesday night TV and not enough time during the day to work on my project. I think CBS and TLC are in kahoots, scheduling Survivor and then right after that 2 hours of Junkyard Wars. I really didn't know there was that many things you can do with stuff from a junkyard, it's just amazing. The season is over for Junkyard Wars though, so maybe it won't be such a time sink. Maybe things will go faster tomorrow. Off to read more Into the Darkness before bed.

July 19th, 2000 - 11:55am CDT

jpalme2000 brought up Big Brother in his diary entry today and that reminded me that I always want to post something about that show. Even though CBS has always said that the show was started boost ratings, I think they have another motive behind it. The show plays five days a week, and from the shows that I watched(before coming to this conclusion) the people in the house aren't shown that often. Most of the show is filled with interviews of family members, occasional happenings in the house, and lots of commercials. With so little "meat" it's a wonder the show is popular. However, there is one thing that makes up for all of this. They have four live feeds(with audio) on their website that run all the time. The website has plenty of interviews, goings-on, and ads. I really think that the television show is just a hook to get people to watch the live cameras on their website. The feed is continuous, so people can watch it whenever they like, for as long as it's interesting. Meanwhile, CBS gets lots of info about how many people are watching, what banner ads they click, how often the revisit the site, etc. I really think that CBS is using the show as a test market for online broadcasting. They don't have anything to lose with their ratings being as terrible as they are(were?). I think the Internet is going to see a lot more of this type of content in the future.

Then again, maybe I'm wrong and CBS is only doing this to get hits, but JenniCam and others seem to be making a living off of it.

July 18th, 2000 - 10:12pm CDT

Well, things are coming along nicely with the XML interface for Glade's widget palette. A lot of the basic code is roughed out now. I think I might even be able to call an XML defined widget by the end of the day tomorrow. That's the goal I'm setting for myself, anyway. At least I remembered to put it in CVS so I can check it out from anywhere.

I think I'm going to finish the evening reading some more from Into the Darkness by Harry Turtledove, before I hit the sack. It's a very interesting book so far, with a LOT of characters. A list of all of the major characters, which country they are in, and a short description, was included at the beginning of the book. I'd certainly be lost without it. I hope it doesn't rain again tomorrow, I want to ride my bike into work.

July 18th, 2000 - 12:43pm CDT

Wow, the Salon article was the first time I'd ever heard of this site. I've just recently stopped reading Slashdot because of the terrible misrepresentation of news and horrible ethic of the people who comment about articles. I was spending too much time simply trying to sort the signal from the noise to bother anymore. It's nice to find somewhere else I can go that looks a like a more friendly place. These diary entries are very interesting as well(I just wonder if I can keep mine going :).

Program development has held my interest for a long time. I started learning C in 1994(I think). Over the years I've learned a lot, but I really haven't contributed anything to the open source community. One of my problems that I have been trying to kick, is that when I get stuck on something, I tend to give up and go on to something else. I'm very interested in graphics programming. I've been a member of SIGGRAPH since December of 1999. OpenGL is probably the 3D graphics API I am most comfortable with.

Lately(well, since yesterday ;), I've been working on modifying Glade to have an XML interface for it's supported widgets, rather than being hard coded into the program. I was talking to one of my co-workers(Jeff Epler) about how I didn't like Glade's custom widget, because it wouldn't generate the code I needed to use with a GtkGLArea widget. Looking at Glade's source code showed that I would have to modify the source and recompile to add support for the widget. Jeff and I then went on to talking about ways of using object introspection and an XML description of a GTK widget to allow Glade to populate it's widget palette at run time. Today, I've been looking at libxml, which looks very easy to use. More on that later, time to get back to work.

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