Erbo is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Eric Bowersox
Member since: 2000-02-22 21:26:05
Last Login: N/A

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Homepage: http://www.silcom.com/~erbo/

Notes:

Software Engineer - Webb Interactive Services Inc., Denver, CO (NASDAQ: WEBB)
(actually now for Jabber, Inc.)

These days, I spend my work days working on the Jabber project, to which I have contributed the following code:

  • Jabber Extensible Client Interface for Java (JECI)
  • ICQ Transport
  • xdb_mysql code for Jabber transport

At work I run Corel Linux beta 1, Red Hat, and (yeuch!) Windows NT; at home, I run Mandrake 7.0 almost exclusively. (My wife uses Windows 98...for now.)

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I guess my father is reading these diary entries...he caught my entry on April 11 about the tax situation. Well, it's not as dire a situation as I thought it would be at the time; I won't have to borrow cash from my brother or anything.

But he was also under the opinion that I could deduct the moving expenses that Webb paid for, the ones that screwed up my taxes so badly this year. Well, Dad, that turns out not to be the case. I just got off the phone with a guy at H&R Block, and he said that you can only deduct moving expenses if you paid them out of your own pocket. Moving expenses paid for by your employer are treated as "income" and cannot be deducted by you. But, as he said, "I'd rather pay the taxes on $9,000 than have to pay $9,000 up front." So I was right all along, and the shafting I took this year was justified by tax law (God damn it all, anyway!). Thankfully, switching from "single" to "married" status midyear (a month before the move in fact) kind of cushioned the blow, and California will be sending me enough $$$ to offset the amount I had to pay the Feds and Colorado, with money to spare.

Anyhow, icq-t seems to be much more stable now. I've had a couple of minor reports but nothing that I can point to definitively and say "that's a bug." Well, maybe just one...pgmillard reported that he wasn't getting unavailable presence from ICQ users when he signed off the ICQ transport. A certain flag needed to be toggled for that, one I put in because someone else complained that those messages were being sent out at the wrong times. As Jar Jar Binks would say, "How rude!"

Company meeting tomorrow. We get to see what our new offices look like for the first time. Looking forward to it.

Just back from the high country. Pamela and I spent the weekend at my grandmother's house in the mountains near Florissant (in Teller County, west of Colorado Springs). While there, I made friends with a dog, helped her fix some computer troubles, did some exploring of the wonderful world of C-band satellite TV (OK, if we ever have a house of our own, I want one of those monster dishes!), and started feeling like I understood my grandfather (now alas deceased) more. We had Sunday brunch at my aunt's house, just up the road from my grandmother's, and then I got dragged in to play this card game called Spades...which seems to combine certain features of Hearts, Whist, and Contract Bridge while being just different enough to royally screw you over if you don't know what to expect. (I mean, what kind of card game penalizes you for overtricks? Really!) All in all, it was a good weekend.

Naturally, once I got back, I logged in and checked on icq-t. Seems to be still running, but it may still have that odd buzz in there. I may have to do that rewrite of the libicq-erbo layer after all. (Actually, before that happened, a minor miracle happened: the fX network aired the final episode of M*A*S*H ("Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen") in its entirety, and I taped it for Pamela. If you only knew how much she's wanted that episode on tape...)

Just read the Phil Katz article. Sad that a man so brilliant would wind up destroying himself in that fashion. But, as long as people are still using his compression algorithm (and it really does have 1001 uses), he will never be truly dead. And, to all those Slashdot wankers who got all jazzed thinking that the dead man was Jon Katz...well...[REDACTED] you! Honest to Pete, if you don't like what the man writes, go see if you can do any better!

Well, new morning tomorrow, new week, new trading day, new work day...I could probably use some sleep first though.

ARGH! ARGH! ARGH! ARGH! AAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!

Important information for everyone that uses the GNU Pth library, and has just upgraded from 1.2.x to 1.3.x, and whose code uses PTH_EVENT_FUNC event types: There is now a third parameter for that event type, which is a pth_time() value telling the scheduler how frequently to call the function (such as pth_time(0,100000) for 10 times/second). Omit it and your code may die in subtle and frightening ways when you least expect it. Since I just spent most of the day groveling through the inner workings of the scheduler to discover this fact, I thought I'd share it with everybody, in the hopes that nobody else will have to go through this agony.

And I haven't even mahaged to fix the problem I was working on yesterday: midway through the afternoon, I had to drop everything and go take Pamela to the ER because she'd had one of her migraines. Now I wonder if I'm going to get anywhere close to done on that one before I have to leave...

And I'm not missin' a thing,
Watchin' the full moon crossin' the range,
I'm ridin' the storm out, ridin' the storm out
(REO Speedwagon)

For now, it looks like I've ridden my own particular storms out. icq-t is behaving now, and should no longer be leaking memory now that Jer has fixed etherx. No buzzes have recurred recently. Also, I have further improved the autoconfiguration system, and I'm now using temas's standard macros for Jabber and Etherx configuration. Mucho better!

Webb's stock price is showing signs of life. Of course, I'm in mid-blackout again...not that it would matter, as I need to sell for enough to pay off enough debts that someone will give us a car loan for a Subaru Forester...

Steve's got a meeting in here in a bit. I'll take that opportunity to go over to Costco and get Pamela's scrips, then go home and pick up a bill to be mailed.

Later: The buzz appears to be back. I'm now using fgrep to split up the logfile that resulted, trying to locate where the buzz began and what happened when it did. In the meantime, now two people have reported that bizarro error that kills the transport on startup with a PTH "scheduler internal error," and I haven't the first [REDACTED] idea why it's doing that, because I've never seen it happen myself. Not once. AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!

Slightly later: OK, I have a pretty good idea of why the buzz is happening. PTH_EVENT_SELECT is apparently a pile of crap. Time to rewrite the guts of libicq-erbo so it can export PTH events for each socket it uses. But that's for tomorrow. Still no clue on the other thing, though. Why the [REDACTED] does this have to be so [REDACTED] complicated?!?

Yeah yeah and all that.

The ICQ transport is progressing nicely. I just figured out the format of "authentication denied" messages coming from ICQ, and also just gave the ICQ library (libicq-erbo) its own autoconfiguration scripts. Guess the Gnu Autoconf documents don't quite look like they're written in Minbari anymore...

And now if I could only find the latest buzz. I may have located what may be the place, and it may have to do with the funky need to do two "selects" on the ICQ connection because the PTH_SELECT_EVENT doesn't seem to modify the selected filesets properly. If that's it, I should just put some code into libicq-erbo to use PTH events for multiple-socket management instead of using the PTH_SELECT_EVENT.

I also spent some time today explaining the guts of the transport mechanism to Catherine, one of our technical writers. She's a nice person to work with, and I know from long experience that good tech writers are worth their weight in iridium, so feed them well.

Oy gevalt...so many things upcoming for Jabber Inc...so little time...

I'm also looking at this piece of code called NanoXML; if I can figure out how it works, perhaps I'll wind up using it in JECI.

Just read that article about naming projects...that reminds me, if we ever do some sort of Jabber-to-Apache integration project, I think Jer wants to call it "Arapahoe." It's also the name of an Indian tribe, and is fairly similar to "Apache," and it's also a fairly common name in and around Denver, because the Arapahoe (actually "Arapaho") Indians were the first settlers of this region. So we have Arapahoe County, for instance, and Arapahoe Street downtown, and Arapahoe Road down south by the Tech Center. Besides which, I think he just likes the sound of the name :-).

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Erbo certified others as follows:

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  • Erbo certified Erbo as Journeyer
  • Erbo certified temas as Journeyer
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  • Erbo certified pgmillard as Journeyer
  • Erbo certified alan as Master
  • Erbo certified quad as Journeyer
  • Erbo certified nwv as Journeyer
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  • Erbo certified julian as Apprentice
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Others have certified Erbo as follows:

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